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Suicide of a high school student ;in Poissy: the rectorate partly responsible? What possible sanctions?

The parents of Nicolas, the high school student who committed suicide the day after the start of the school year Poissy, denounce the responsibility of the school and its lack of response to the harassment their son was experiencing. A letter signed by the rectorate also raises questions.

Could Nicolas's suicide have been avoided? ? Have all necessary measures been taken? taken by his high school and the Versailles rectorate to put an end to the harassment that the teenager was experiencing? The parents of the 15-year-old high school student who gave himself up death on September 5 at the family home, Poissy, denounce the inaction of the school and hold it partly responsible for the death of their son.

A responsibility that refuses to take the Adrienne Bolland professional high school where The young man was registered before the start of the 2023 school year. While Nicolas' parents had complained about the lack of measures taken by management in a letter sent to them. At the end of April, in his response the principal assured that that the harassment situation affected its end. Above all, in a letter made public by BFMTV, the rectorate threatened and accused Nicolas's family for "slanderous denunciation". In its letter, the Versailles rectorate summons the high school student's parents "to adopt a constructive and respectful attitude" in addition to qualifying the proven bullying and verbal violence of which Nicolas was the victim as “supposed harassment”.

The letter sparked indignation, in particular from associations fighting against school bullying. The latter point out words that are “extremely violent for the family.” and "a declamation of non-will" to hear that “school bullying”. Nicolas was "not" listened to by adults" according to Hugo Martinez, president of the Hugo association and victim of school bullying.

The Minister of National Education, Gabriel Attal, promised to shed light on the situation and take the necessary measures, including sanctions, on the administrative level. He assured on the evening of September 18, after a meeting with the rectors wanting “an electroshock at the same time”. all levels" and sets itself the objective of "100% prevention, 100% detection and 100% reaction". In addition to possible administrative sanctions, do the high school and the rectorate risk criminal sanctions? Nicolas' parents have not ruled out filing a complaint, but are awaiting “the results of the investigations.” yours and the actions that will be carried out by the government" before deciding.

A "resolution phase" and "alleged harassment"

Accused not to respond to the school harassment which targeted Nicolas, the school responded to the parents of the high school student in a letter sent to them. at the end of April indicating that "no significant class event related to Nicolas, has been revealed" ascent by the teaching team since March 10" and that the teaching staff could in fact “consider that the situation was in the resolution phase”. This situation explained, according to management, the failure to implement the measures announced during previous meetings with Nicolas's parents.

But the rectorate of Versailles went to further by threatening the high school student's parents with "slanderous denunciations" about "supposed harassment". A "shameful" which shows the great "failure on the type of response addressed to parents”, judged the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne.

A responsibility of the high school in the suicide of Nicolas?

Ongoing investigations into Nicolas's suicide must determine whether school bullying was the only factor that led to his suicide. the high school student to kill himself and, consequently, identify those responsible. The harassing students would then face a sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and €150,000. fine, sanction provided for by article 222-33-2-3 of the Penal Code when the harassment has led the victim to commit suicide.

But the question of responsibility arises. of the school, or even the rectorate, who admitted not having taken measures to put an end to the harassment. Which was no longer characterized according to management. This lack of response can be understood as "reckless or negligent behavior" and therefore a breach of duty; the security obligation what the educational establishment owes to towards his students. Schools are notably bound by the Education Code. respect article L. 111-6 which provides that “no pupil or student must suffer acts of harassment resulting from comments or behavior committed within the establishment”. #39;teaching or on the fringes of school or university life.

The teachers who would have witnessed Nicolas' harassment without intervening, such as the management of the establishment who would not have taken the necessary measures, or even the rectorate who would have minimized the harassment. acts of harassment could therefore be partly responsible according to article 121-3 of the Penal Code: "There is also an offense, when the law provides for it , in the event of carelessness, negligence or breach of duty. an obligation of prudence or safety provided for by law or regulation, if it is established that the perpetrator did not carry out normal due diligence taking into account, where applicable, the nature of his missions or functions, his skills as well as the power and means at his disposal."

Possible sanctions?

If the responsibility Criminal investigation of the school in which Nicolas was enrolled seems to be possible, what sanctions would be applied? Article 223-7 of the Penal Code provides that “anyone voluntarily refrains from taking or instigating measures enabling, without risk to themselves or to third parties, to combat a disaster likely to be dangerous.” create a safety hazard persons is punishable by two years' imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros. If the establishment has voluntarily waived à implement anti-harassment measures, as indicated; in the letter from the high school principal, this article could be invoked.

Moreover, the Minister of National Education who promised to clarify the situation also announced on September 16 draw "all conclusions, including in terms of sanctions" from here to "15 days". The deadline is therefore set for October 1, 2023.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116