“This letter is a disgrace. A shame,” reacted Saturday, September 16, the Minister of National Education, Gabriel Attal, following the publication of a letter from the Versailles rectorate sent to the parents of the teenager who had reported acts of harassment and committed suicide on September 5th. “As of Monday, I will bring together all the rectors, and I want to carry out an audit on all the harassment situations that have been reported since last year,” he also announced.

The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, described the tone of the letter as “shocking”, believing that there had been “a failure”. Ms. Borne was responding to a question from BFM-TV, which published a series of exchanges by mail between the parents of the teenager, who committed suicide on September 5 in Poissy (Yvelines), the principal of his high school and the rectorate of Versailles.

The latter had described as “unacceptable” comments from parents who would have “questioned” the attitude of the school staff, according to the letter posted online on the BFM-TV website. Enjoining parents to adopt a “constructive and respectful attitude” towards them, the letter from the rectorate also reminded them of the criminal risks of slanderous denunciation.

For Elisabeth Borne, “there was clearly a failure in the type of response addressed to parents who were extremely worried.” “Obviously it’s shocking,” she added. The head of government recalled that an “inspection will allow us to find out how such out-of-date mail could have been transmitted”.

An administrative investigation in progress

Gabriel Attal announced at the beginning of September an administrative investigation to shed “light” on the acts of school harassment of which this boy had been a victim, but also on the management of this affair by the national education services.

Justice opened an investigation to investigate the causes of death and the Versailles prosecutor’s office then declared to Agence France-Presse that it was necessary to “remain very cautious at this stage” on the links between the suicide of the teenager and acts of harassment.

The Prime Minister stressed on Saturday that the plan she intends to present to fight against harassment aims to “pay much more attention to the words of children”. Which “also requires training for all adults in contact with children to fully understand the pain they can feel,” she told BFM-TV during Heritage Days in Matignon.

The fight against bullying at school, which affects one in ten students, has been made the government’s top priority for the 2023-2024 school year, following the suicide in the spring of young Lindsay, 13, in Pas-de-Calais.