“We know where this is going”: school principal accused of Islamophobia calls on National Education to “learn lessons”

The principal of the Neuilly-sur-Marne school in Seine-Saint-Denis was the subject of incriminating leaflets as his school took part in school uniform experimentation.

“We label Islamophobia and we know very well where it leads,” Nicolas Bourez, headmaster of a school in Neuilly-sur-Marne (Seine-Saint-Denis) accused Islamophobia in a leaflet for defending the wearing of uniforms in school.

At the invitation of our colleagues this Tuesday, April 30, the head of the institution referred to “other teachers and colleagues” who have already suffered threats and pressures, a few months after the headmaster of a Paris high school, Maurice Ravel, resigned because he was threatened with death after asked the BTS student to remove her veil. Nicolas Bourez called on society and national education to “learn lessons” from this crisis that the educational environment is going through.

“No obsession” with Islam

He denied the accusations of the “committee for the defense of public schools”, which condemned the alliance with the city’s mayor for carrying out “propaganda” in favor of the uniform. In reality, the councilor who volunteered for his municipality to experiment with school uniforms, Nicolas Bourez’s school will implement the clothing measure at the start of the school year in September, as will three other primary schools in the municipality. The one who has been running the André-Chénier school for “15 years” recalled that it is a “ministerial project” supported by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron. The school council voted for its adoption, the director of the institution reminded.

Accused of being “extremist” and “anti-Muslim”, Nicolas Bourez claims he is supported by the “vast majority” of parents, although the latter have had the opportunity to read the criticism coming from the commission. He claims he has “no obsession” with Islam and faces a “web of absurdities and lies”. The head of the establishment responds to the question written in the first accusatory leaflet of the “rather dark” committee, which he quoted at RMC: “Does Mr. Bourez’s clothing obsession hide an anti-Muslim obsession?” And to specify that this “committee for the defense of public schools” was distributing new leaflets even on Tuesday evening at the end of school. In this latest version, the message abandons the interrogative form to confirm that the director’s behavior “hides” an “anti-Muslim obsession,” he specifies.

“Immense” support from parents

On sick leave until next Tuesday, the director says he did not receive an explicit threat. However, he justified his decision by not “exposing his students”, in a video posted on Monday morning on his X account, before concluding: “What do they want? My skin?”.

For her part, Nicole Belloubet, the Minister of National Education, indicated on Monday to X that she had submitted a report to the prosecutor and assured that the principal’s security had been increased.

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