Uniform at school: Minister Nicole Belloubet believes that “we must try everything” to fight against “discrimination”

Pinned down by the press for old criticisms made against the school uniform, the new Minister of Education, Nicole Belloubet, qualified her remarks on Monday February 12, judging that the experiment launched by the executive could be “a way to help students” and “avoiding discrimination

Uniform at school: Minister Nicole Belloubet believes that “we must try everything” to fight against “discrimination”

Pinned down by the press for old criticisms made against the school uniform, the new Minister of Education, Nicole Belloubet, qualified her remarks on Monday February 12, judging that the experiment launched by the executive could be “a way to help students” and “avoiding discrimination.”

“I think that if it is a way to help our students, if it is a way to avoid discrimination, we must try everything. An experiment is underway, it will be evaluated,” declared the minister to the press, following her first trip to a college in Reims, dedicated to the fight against school bullying.

The former Minister of Justice (2017-2020), who served as rector in the 2000s, judged in a publication in 2016 that “the restoration of authority or the wearing of the blouse” were “trifles.” Statements which appear to put her at odds with the line defended by Emmanuel Macron and Gabriel Attal.

Fariboles? “It’s a very pretty word and I find that the people who caught this word in this article have certainly not read the article at all,” the minister defended herself on Monday. Questioned last week on France 2, Gabriel Attal, for his part, assured that his ministers were “totally aligned” with his positions.

Target of criticism from the right and the far right

Accused by right-wing and far-right figures of “laxity” at the Ministry of Justice, or even of complacency towards Islamism at the time of the Mila affair – a teenager threatened with death for criticizing Islam –, Ms. Belloubet has been compared since her appointment to the former minister of national education Pap Ndiaye, who became the incessant target of right-wing opposition, who saw him as a promoter of communitarianism. “I have a lot of friendship for Pap Ndiaye. I am not Pap Ndiaye, because we each formed ourselves with our own convictions,” the minister reacted on Monday.

“We must therefore do everything to help students and support teachers to obtain better academic results. I am fully committed to this mission which is that of the President of the Republic,” added Nicoles Belloubet. “I have the ambition for the school both for the existence of rules, for respect for these rules, for respect for teachers,” she said again.

On the establishment of level groups in middle school, a measure of the so-called “shock of knowledge” launched in 2023 by Gabriel Attal, when he was Minister of Education but which arouses strong rejection in the educational community, Nicole Belloubet is limited to reaffirming its wish to “enter into a serious and sustained dialogue with all representatives of teachers, school heads and inspection bodies”.