by Salah Lamrani
As I explained in my previous article, following a relentless campaign of harassment, incitement and slanderous denunciations conducted by the particularly authoritarian management of my institution (Khadija BOT, Principal, and Abdelkader SAOUDI, Deputy Principal of the Roman Rolland Middle School of Tremblay-en-France) simply because of my union activism and my blogging activity, with the active complicity of Parents’ representatives and colleagues of the Board, I was temporarily suspended from my position as Professor of Literature for a period of 4 months, by decision of the HRD Rectory of Creteil. I had sent a detailed complaint to my Inspector on January 27th, which remains unanswered. This is an absolutely unacceptable decision that jeopardises my honour and my reputation (because to disappear after such serious charges – violence against children, jihadi propaganda and indoctrination, terrorism, etc. – could be considered strong evidence of guilt), hinders me in building my case for hierarchical and criminal proceedings, and could even shake my sanity because it forces me to live anew my traumatic experience with the French secular Mission in Egypt. The management of my institution has moreover explicitly referred to this experience on the 25th January, consciously reopening the scar in an attempt to crack me or push me to fault to prevent me from speaking to the parents of pupils gathered in a meeting meant to ruin my career, but in vain. I held my ground, and parents came to me in great numbers after the meeting to share with me their trust and support, and the management was publicly singled out and blamed for its unworthy methods.
The severity of misconduct against me lasting for months, in full sight of the whole educational community, leaves only one alternative to this dispute for which I had asked for an investigation of the Rectory: my “head” or that of management (I mean “position” of course: given the charges of Daeshism brought against me  , one must be careful with metaphors), with the prospect of serious inconvenience to everyone who participated in this cabal, especially among parents and teachers. Not to mention the fact that Friday, February 12th, the first day of my suspension, I had summoned to the school the legal guardian of a 9th grade pupil who had addressed to me a particularly devious email containing explicit threats, especially if I were to tell anyone of this message, and in which I can see only the exploitation of an adult meant to intimidate me and put me at fault. It was therefore imperative for my slanderers to get me away as quickly as possible in order to stifle any scandal, especially since my great popularity with pupils and, let us say, my litigious nature in such circumstances were common knowledge.
So many reasons why it was impossible for me to heed to this decision and disappear from the radar, because my moral integrity and my career are at stake. And I precise from the outset that if my career is precious to me, my teaching job being a vocation and a passion, it is absolutely insignificant in relation to my honour, the defence of which takes precedence over all other considerations.
That’s why I replayed my part of the Egyptian scenario that was imposed on me again, and on Friday 12th of February, I stood in front of my institution, in protest against an unjust decision in an act of silent vigil, and in order not to allow the management to spread new slanders against me without being able to tell my side of the story. I made no attempt to enter the facility, and I took a position in front of it in the yard of a private residence where the owner allowed me warmly to settle down, and I stayed at my post all day, from 7:45 a.m to 3:45 p.m., my teaching hours.
Of course, management was alarmed at this yet predictable action, and true to themselves, they called the police, believing that even the constabulary was at his orders or lacking in discernment. I presume Ms. Khadija BOT argued of my supposed dangerousness or of an alleged disturbance of public order, but when the police car arrived at the school she slowed down, find that I was in cordial discussion with a man in his garden (he even offered me a coffee), and she continued on without stopping.
Relying only on her courage, and animated with her own lofty views, Mrs. Khadija BOT then called my Union representative to complain to him of the unconventional nature of my methods, but this whining has had little effect, other than confirming, if doubt could still exist, the absolutely pathetic character of the management, whose arrogance is matched only by their unfathomable mediocrity. I do not even speak of their total lack of moral scruples, as they have knowingly done everything they could to destroy my career and mental health (and because I was weakened by my case against the French Secular Mission, ongoing, and my isolation within the educational team, they very nearly succeeded), but I understand that this is something that is more difficult to detect on a strictly professional level. In any case, such incompetence and such a tendency to arbitrariness should prohibit them from any executive position and any activity around children, or go as far as to deprive them of freedom: recall that harassment is punishable with up to two years in prison and a 30,000 euros fine. I do wonder how such people could have reached their current positions, and rein in with an iron grip the majority of school staff.
Throughout the day, absolutely no teacher greeted me, and only the Education Adviser and a supervisor spoke to me (and even brought me a coffee). In contrast to this, I was greeted warmly and massively by dozens of pupils from all classes, especially mine but also others, and they were able to keep me company at some length during the various breaks and give me their support, and even bring me something to eat at lunch. Two mediators of the Rectory who came to ask me my story around 10am, then stayed until I left and were able to observe all this.
-What is the profile of your educational team?
-The same for all: a low profile!
AUTONOMY OF SCHOOLS!
REINFORCEMENT OF THE HIERARCHY!
NOTHING TO DO WITH EDUCATION!
I note that at the first Board of Directors, Ms. Khadija BOT presented our establishment as a vanguard of the ongoing Middle School Reformation, of which she is an enthusiastic supporter (and it is easy to understand why), and if this is the school of tomorrow, there really is cause for alarm: in what concerns me, if the public servant must become a serf, not for me. But I must say that my Egyptian experience had already revealed to me the submissive and indifferent nature of many teachers, although in Egypt, which is not a state of law, they were risking more than having their ears pulled by the management. Nevertheless, we have here a new incarnation of the “stoicism by proxy” which I’ve previously denounced  .
I must pay tribute to Mr Abdelkader SAOUDI whose decisive actions, we hope, earned him the strongest congratulations from the management. Although his attempt to strike down by glaring the 7th grade pupils who spoke to me was unsuccessful (it should be noted that he was dozens of meters away : perhaps, in the sublime impulse of duty, he somewhat overestimated his powers), he severely reprimanded a pupil who dared to proclaim that I was not a terrorist, as it was reported to me. And I do not doubt that he will call in to his office any pupil who dares to express the least demonstration of solidarity with me, instead of following the edifying example of my worthy colleagues. At noon, Mr. SAOUDI has, and that’s certainly a stunt which will earn him the Legion of Honour and the recognition of posterity, forced the pupils through the emergency exit to the Boulevard Charles Vaillant instead of the main exit of the Rue d’Anjou. While this caused a massive outflow of pupils towards a street with more dense traffic, and was therefore more dangerous, it should be understood that Mr. SAOUDI, as always, had no other concern than the welfare and safety of children: by preventing their exit on the side where I was, he prevented a possible explosion caused by a hypothetical explosive belt I could potentially have been wearing and even shots from a Kalashnikov that I could have brought along with me. It is true that it was pointless, because anyway, the majority of pupils had to take the Rue d’Anjou to go home, but it’s the thought that counts. And even if, when my pupils visited me en masse, expressing to me both solidarity and dismay in this confused and senseless decision (the mediocrity of the management is now very clear to the 6th grade children), and nothing happened, it does not necessarily imply that these were vain precautions, and that I had no explosive belt or other “terrorist” device: perhaps the cold had deactivated them (because I literally shivered all morning), and perhaps, like Brody at the end of Season 1 of Homeland, I had been touched by these little blonde and brown haired darlings who made so much fun of Mr. SAOUDI.
Personally, I had already had several eloquent glimpses of the dignity, of the high moral standards and infallible judgment of Ms. Khadija BOT and Mr. Abdelkader SAOUDI, since the ban of my Reading & Internet Clubs whose putative propagandist aims were uncovered, and up to the evening of 25th January, when, after having vainly insulted me as a “danger to pupils” and a “terrorist”, they stayed, like me, standing outside in the cold, for more than a half hour, until the parents meeting ended, to ensure that none of them would talk to me through their deterrent presence and their zealous activation of the door exit release button as soon as the parents left the room: having great success with their teachers in imposing on them healthy submissive values, they could believe themselves to be absolutely “terrifying” to anyone. But despite the bluster, while we waited, I could almost hear the sound of flatulence during the lively discussion of Mr SAOUDI with Mr. Salim B. – parent of the CIPF who had actively joined the management to drive me from the school – in which God and Mecca were emphatically discussed, certainly to give courage to their infamy and reject by denial the inevitable bringing to light of their shameful proceedings, in foretaste of Judgement Day. Of course, this was a dismal failure, because of the fifty parents present, only five left before the others came to me en masse. I must say that I had actually believed in the “sincere repentance” of Mr. SAOUDI – I thought him only a victim of the influence of Mrs. BOT and of a bureaucratic mind carried to excess – so much so that I told him of my will to turn the page, and I greeted him warmly and publicly to help ease the atmosphere! State of emergency, how far we will you bring us down?
Whether you like reading… a little… a lot… passionately… crazily… or not at all, this Club is for you.
Come and share and discover all kinds of books every Monday, 12.30 p.m to 1.30 p.m in the Library with Mr Lamrani.”
The “green poster”, foiled by the vigilance and sagacity of Ms. BOT
Of course, I will continue my vigil on Monday, and I will write a daily column, for as long as I possibly can. Although I have not broken and do not plan on breaking any law, nothing is excluded in these troubled times, and as it is, an arrest and/or house arrest would be more substantial in view of the seriousness of the charges against me. How many unfortunate innocents have been raided for less than that? In the meantime, I invite all parents of the school to send me their testimony and to protest to the Rector, sending me a copy of their mail, and any person, body or media outlet who can to help me reach a just solution and to give greater visibility to this sad affair. Anyone can address a complaint to email@example.com (who took the decision).
 All the more grotesque as in my activity as a translator and blogger, I support the front-line of fighters against terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran (Khamenei Rahbar!), Hezbollah (Labbayka ya Nasrallah!), Russia (Slava Putin!), the Syrian Arabic Army, etc. We are a free country, at least in theory, and even the Ministry of Education does not have the right to inquire into my political or religious beliefs as long as I do not express them in the framework of my educational mission. And at this level, any finding of fault is a calumny to which all authors will answer to justice.
 Cf. my personal email to the MISR Language Schools, establishment of the French Secular Mission in Cairo, 25th May 2013: “I congratulate already all personnel who will demonstrate ‘stoicism’ in the coming days. I recall that one of the figures of Stoicism, Epictetus, known as ‘the cripple’, originally a slave of his state, according to tradition, ‘stoically’ supported his leg being broken under the torture of his lord, responding to it only with a placid ‘Didn’t I tell you it would break?’ Maybe we are witnessing the emergence of a new school of Stoicism, a French one, whose followers would allow almost without flinching their colleague’s leg to be broken. A ‘stoicism’ by proxy, of some sort. It is, I think, the responsibility of staff to stand up against all these procedures, and to demand respect for the law and justice by new means, the first petition not having yet resulted in anything – evidence of the high esteem which the administration holds the staff. It is unfortunately far from the strike in which I called in solidarity with François * from March 26th, a proposal I reiterated to the main concerned on March the 27th when the assault occurred, but which he himself opposed.” See The soup merchants of the French Secular Mission: violence and omerta (2)