dimanche 13 septembre 2015

Clientelism and Children-as-Kings: The French Secular Mafia’s Carpetbaggers



Account of the Case Sayed Hasan /
French Secular Mission (Misr Language Schools) & Services of the French Embassy in Cairo

 Part I

The elements mentioned below are evidenced by multiple and explicit documents and testimonies. Endtnotes provide eloquent (and more pleasant to read) extracts of this evidence. Names marked (*) have been changed.

The file is currently investigated upon by the French Labour Court and the Defender of Rights and remains on track for completion. All those involved in this case, and anyone who can bring a testimony or any documents about these instances are urged to do so, mentioning, if applicable, whether they want their participation to be anonymous. 

Please address any correspondence to this email address: 7asan.saleh [at] gmail [dot] com




Translated from French by Jenny Bright





Introduction

1 – A particularly difficult school

2 – The “small” case: Samuel M. / S. H.

3 – The “big” case: illegal exclusion, threats, violence, attempted bribery and defamatory complaint…

4 – … fully condoned by the Direction of the French Secular Mission (Mission laïque française)

5 – The bias of diplomatic bodies

Conclusion





Introduction

I am a 28-year-old Middle / High School French teacher, tenured by the French Ministry of National Education. During the 2012-2013 school year, I was recruited in Paris for a position in a school of the Mission laïque française (French Secular / Lay Mission) network in Egypt, the French section of the MISR Language Schools. Located in Cairo, this school is contracted by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and accredited by the French Ministry of National Education. My employer was the French Secular Mission, as is specified in its statutes, its Charter and the employment contract[1]. The French section was headed by Mr. Frédéric TUMPICH, and the General Manager of this school consisting in five sections was Mrs. Nermine NADA – both are still holding their position to this day.





As soon as I took office, I found that serious breaches of the management were endangering the security of personnel and the well-being of all, resulting in various incidents. Indeed, as evidenced by numerous documents, reports and testimonies from the teaching staff, parents, pupils and even from the Management[2], this school had serious issues with discipline and even with the safety of pupils and staff. The atmosphere was noticeably characterized by disrespect and rejection of the authority of the teachers on the behalf of the pupils and Egyptian education staff, rampant chaos preventing classes from being taught[3], refusal of the pupils to attend classes[4], cancellation by the French Director of the punishments given to pupils by teachers[5], etc. Furthermore, the French and Egyptian teaching staff were submitted to a full-on lynching by the administration and parents who held them solely responsible for these dysfunctions, while these were incumbent upon the Management, and while teachers were counted among the main victims of this situation[6]. The French and Egyptian teachers were held at bay, with formidable efficiency, by various pressures (accusations of incompetence, denial, threats of exclusion…[7]), despite verbal abuse and physical intimidation by pupils against the staff[8]. All this even went as far as a physical aggression from High School students against a fellow tenured teacher close to retirement (Mr. François. E.*, Professor of Physics), which in particular led him to exercise his right to withdraw for a full week as his safety could not be guaranteed. These actions went completely unpunished and were even concealed, smoothed over, and, indeed, encouraged by the laxity of the Management. For them, “the customer is king”, while the teaching staff, insignificant, disposable and easily replaced, are only here to be thrown at the mercy[9] of pupils who pay huge fees, so they can behave as the effective owners of the school[10]. The teachers who were trying to act were threatened, discredited, and, in my case, expelled, slandered and assaulted. The pupils’ very lives were endangered by faulty electrical installations in the laboratories. These facilities have been the object of public complaints from Mr. François. E.* and from Mr. Farid Y.*, tenured Professor of Mathematics and Physics[11].



I had tackled the task of mitigating some of these problems, in agreement with my superior, Frédéric TUMPICH, which led me to directly oppose the Egyptian direction who always sided with the most disruptive students. It then wanted to get rid of me. Because although the staff regulations (and the commitments contracted with parents, who enroll their children in a school which they are guaranteed has a purely French Management) provide that the French section is managed independently by the French direction only[12], it turned out that the Egyptian Direction imposes all its decisions in practice. The French Headmaster has a purely puppet role and meets coercive intimations from menial Egyptian staff[13]. Thus, I was finally excluded on March 28, 2013 in a violent and illegal way – without written notification, forcibly and as a mere fait accompli –, beaten by eight guards in front of my 6th Grade pupils who were traumatized and in tears, all this under a specious pretext: an altercation with a colleague, Mr. Samuel METAUX, which had taken place the day before, outside the school premises. However, testimonies from teachers, parents and pupils established that I had been harassed by Samuel METAUX for a long time inside the very school. As for the March 27th incident, direct testimonies of three teachers and the admission of the Headmaster himself, Frédéric TUMPICH (as early as March 29, 2013, in the presence of Prof. Farid Y.*, elected staff representative), agree to establish that I was verbally and physically assaulted by Samuel METAUX, and that I only defended myself. In spite of this, Frédéric TUMPICH wittingly supported a false story in his e-mails addressed to parents in order to justify the decision of the Egyptian Management by giving it a French tint and discredit me.

I strived to enforce my rights, but because of my resistance and of the intervention of parents, the school administration then retroactively “justified” this exclusion with other slanderous accusations which have never been stated to me by writing (nor has my definitive exclusion and its alleged reasons), though it was contractually required. I have indeed been accused of verbal abuse and even physical assault against pupils, and a defamatory complaint to that effect has been lodged against me at the Public Prosecutor’s Department in order to neutralize me and scare me off. These false accusations led to my violent arrest by the police, my placement in a 1 square meter cell, and then my prosecution. Egyptian court promptly rejected all of the MISR Language School’s charges against me, in particular thanks to many testimonies from parents and students, and to a lesser extent, from teaching staff. 

Throughout the case, the administration did not hesitate to resort to threats and psychological brutalization against pupils by forbidding them to talk to me, trying hard to persuade them that I was a real danger to them despite the proven facts and my pupils’ strong commitment to me. The Egyptian Director, Mrs. Nermine NADA, and the French Director, Mr. Frédéric TUMPICH, peddled these slanders personally and exercised these pressures and threats themselves. This was noticeably reported to me by my pupils and their parents, outraged – the youngest of them were aged only 11 years and in tears[14]. Similar threats were exerted against the staff in order to dissuade them from helping me and even from greeting me. I was desperate to see that my colleagues and fellow citizens were showing much less solidarity to me than parents and even pupils. Most of my colleagues eventually completely ignored and abandoned me, although most likely, a mere strike would have been enough to resolve the issue. They were probably feeling more vulnerable, being in a foreign country with a different language and culture, and they were deterred from any intervention by the example of what was inflicted on me.

I tried as much as possible to resolve this matter through negotiation and without fuss, transmitting my version of the facts abundantly documented to the management of the institution and of the French Secular Mission (Mission laïque française) and to the French authorities and informing them, both directly and through my lawyers, that I was willing to settle the case amicably, provided the agreement was honorable and law-abiding. I had initially refused the payment of all of my wages to come until the end of the school year in return for my departure and silence (a proposition from Frédéric TUMPICH after the first addresses to the Direction of the French Secular Mission, because it would have been done underneath the table and at the expense of my reputation dirtied par their slander, something I could not consider under any circumstances. Especially since these wages were due contractually to me anyway, and remain so to this day, as the contract has never been legally broken – even the month of March 2013, worked, has still not been paid to me. In order to reach an amicable settlement, I sought the intervention of many elected representatives, bodies and media and intellectual figures, including MPs and Senators of the French living abroad, who generously intervened. The ministerial bodies solicited (National Education, Foreign Affairs, Delegate Ministers in charge of the French Nationals living abroad and of the Francophonie) have not responded to my requests for assistance. I constantly sought the intervention of the headquarters of the French Secular Mission (Mission laïque française) at Paris, my employer according to the texts (see footnote n° 1), in charge of the management of the facilities of its network. But it never gave any response to my requests by email and registered letter. For its part, the Direction of my school initially accepted the principle of negotiation, before rejecting it at the last moment: it was, on their part, only a delaying tactic meant to get closer to the end of the school year and to exhaust my resources and will.


  French Secular Mission's Head Office at Paris, 9 Humblot Street (75015)


Against all odds, and in disregard of the established facts and laws and agreements in force, the Direction of the French Secular (Mission Mission laïque française) and the services of the French Embassy intervened, but in a biased manner and alongside my school’s Management. They acted together against me, knowingly, from the first day until the end, as will be detailed in sections 4 and 5. As early as March 31st, 2013, Frédéric TUMPICH, in an email addressed to parents, affirmed that an intervention of the French Embassy had been requested and that its verdict was in favor of the illegal decision to fire me (“This is why Mme [sic] Nermine Nada and the French Embassy decided together, for the safety of your children [sic], to prohibit M. L. the access of the school.”). Frédéric TUMPICH was fully supported by the French Secular Mission (Mission laïque française), my employer: although it received my story and the numerous documents and evidence collected – which quickly led the Egyptian judiciary to acquit me of all charges laid against me –, the Direction of the French Secular Mission followed the same path, wittingly continuing to convey the slanderous accusations against me. In two letters respectively addressed to Mr. Alain MARSAUD, MP of the French living abroad, and to Mrs. Joëlle GARRIAUD-MAYLAM, Senator of French living abroad, who both intervened at my request, Mr. Jean-Christophe DEBERRE, the Director General of the French Secular Mission, as well as Mr. Yves AUBIN DE LA MESSUZIERE, President of the French Secular Mission, supported accusations they knew to be false. They even outbid MISR’s defamatory accusations by claiming that “the safety of the educational community does not allow the reinstatement of Mr. L.”, this on April 25, 2013, nearly a month after the documents that have cleared me in front of the Egyptian courts had been transmitted to them. This position has yet been confirmed on June 5, 2013, after my school was dismissed by the Prosecution from all its complaints against me, the President of the French Secular Mission supporting despite this considerable development that “we can fear that nothing has since contributed to modify this view”. These elements will be detailed in the section 4, pointing out the obvious contradictions these two letters present with each other, with the statutes of the French Secular Mission and with the proved facts then known by all. The services of the French Embassy acted in the same way, and threats of kidnapping and ostracism uttered against me ​​by Mr. Paul PETIT (Educational Cooperation Attaché representing the Cooperation and Cultural Action Advisor of the French Embassy) as early as March 28, 2013, the day of my exclusion, in front of my school, were partially implemented, which might have cost me my physical and mental integrity or even my life. A French teacher, Eric Lang, died in a Cairo police station in suspicious circumstances at that time, and relatives informed of my case and of the fact that I had experienced violence between the hands of the police believed that it was me, as his identity was not revealed immediately, and this could well have been the case. In fact, due to the measures that have been taken against me, I was forced to live in Egypt for several months without resources (from late March to mid-September 2013), exposed to great risks and in complete destitution, vainly seeking another teaching position without knowing that I was subjected to a real ostracism that made it impossible for me to find a job. I only got evidence of that belatedly, as we shall see. From July 2013, I was often left without enough money to buy water, sleeping on the bare ground in a completely empty apartment, while bloody events were taking place in Egypt. I therefore was at the mercy of anyone. It took me more than six months to start recovering from all the abuse, pressure and harassment I suffered, and it could easily have been that I never recovered from all this.




My French lawyer then, after analyzing the testimonies and documents I had gathered, then denounced “an institution that has used the most disloyal methods in order to implicate [me] with serious accusations [by] the manipulation of information [it] knew to be false from the outset. This attitude is all the more questionable since it is inscribed within a context inspired by discrimination. [...] The documents you sent me are quite clear to establish two points: 1/ The aggression was from Mr. Samuel METAUX; 2/ The attack, which was unfortunate but ultimately quite pathetic, took on a special significance in view of the attitude of the employer, and of the diplomatic authorities which acted without sufficient forethought. The two elements combine themselves to show that there exists around this school a real culture of impunity and that the aggression, just like the attitude of the administration, was based on the firm belief that you would be crushed by the machine, preferring to leave Egypt quickly asking for your account. [...] It is quite remarkable, that while you were caught up in the heat of events, you were able to provide this file and take the time to write and ask to bear witness, thus bringing together important elements of likelihood, and most importantly causing the other party to react. […] The email sent by Mr. TUMPICH on March 31st, 2013, described you as someone violent, so much so that the only solution was to keep you away from the school. You are described to parents as a kind of semi-savage, uncontrollable. However, we know that at this stage, Mr. TUMPICH was fully aware that the assault was not your fault; [...] Thus, it is purposely, in order to break you and make you leave your job and Egypt that he chose to address the parents. [As for the Direction of the French Secular Mission], with its authority, [it] allows itself to write to a Deputy and support a version of events that [it] knows to be entirely false, and presents you as a dangerous individual and a pariah. […] It took all your vigilance and courage to reverse the maneuver.

These facts are, in my opinion, very detrimental to France, to its image and to the French nationals abroad. Those should be protected from such actions, especially when they are recruited in France to work in a French institution (the French Secular Mission / Mission laïque française) under the supervision of two French ministries, and then are completely abandoned and, what’s more, knocked down by the authorities which are supposed to protect them. Even more, the children who are placed in these schools by their parents, confident in France’s reputation of excellence, are in my opinion the main victims of this situation. Their potential is squandered by the extreme conditions reigning in these schools of the French Secular Mission. This situation does not allow the transmission of a decent instruction and education to children who are, by their social status, the future of their Nations, which is thus compromised.

Having established that This school relies on impunity, thinking that if there is a dispute with an employee, it will be treated by the Egyptian court, and with a very relative efficiency and a very small impact in France”, mavinhAmmmy French lawyer then advocated to carry out an action “in order to undermine this whole system which, ignoring the law, is actually working as a mafia system, in the opaque meaning of the term, and favoring special interests.” I am determined to take such an action. 


 French Secular Mission: propaganda and reality check 




1 – A particularly difficult school

The fourth item of its Charter states that “In its network of establishments the Mission laïque française [French Secular Mission] welcomes and brings together children of all origins and cultures. In addition to academic achievement and personal development of pupils, it seeks to develop their capacity to exercise an independent judgement, be respectful of others, understand the heritage of history and have an open-minded approach to the world in all its diversity through the mastery of a number of languages. It initiates them to the exercise of citizen rights and duties”. However, in spite of these ethereal declarations and the fact that the MISR Language Schools counts, at the level of reputation, among the best schools of Egypt, the reality is very different, as we have already glimpsed earlier.

My recruitment itself, from Paris, at the beginning of November 2012, followed the hasty departure of a French teacher (Mrs. Myriam* H.) who had 12 years’ experience in France (Paris region), an excellent service record, but could not hold on in the conditions of chaos and impunity that reigned in this Egyptian establishment[15]. There were at least three resignations – not to say “desertions”, perfectly justified given the work conditions reigning at MISR – in total during the school year[16]. And despite the fact that, by the admission of French Headmaster, Frédéric TUMPICH, I had taken up my position in especially difficult circumstances[17], he didn’t hesitate to explicitly consider dismissing me just like that, a few days after he had made ​​me come from France for this first post, on the pretext that I had trouble in handling this exceptionally chaotic situation[18]. He then simply and coldly invoked the trial period of three months during which any teacher may be dismissed without notice, in compliance with the drastic and non-reciprocal terms of the contract, without further ado. Thereafter, when I managed to get my classes in hand, Frédéric TUMPICH expressed to me (on the last day before the Christmas holiday) his warm congratulations for this spectacular success[19], and he apologized to have “thrown me into the lion’s den” without notice. During these holidays, a tenured colleague, Mrs. Sylvie F.*, who was in France, on sick leave, pregnant, and at the bedside of her seriously ill partner, was illegally and ignobly so, forced to resign by Frédéric TUMPICH. Following a complaint made by Sylvie F.* to her regulatory authorities, Frédéric TUMPICH had to retract. He then affirmed that he was forced to bow to pressures from the Egyptian Direction[20].

All these elements show that the French teaching personnel, recruited in France and invited to work in a French institution under French tutelage, whose all documents are headed “MLF” (Mission laïque française – French Secular Mission), the Charter of which specifies that it is their only employer (“Under the authority of the Headmaster or director of their school, they [the teachers] will act in accordance with the official texts, guidelines and directives of: the Ministry of National Education; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Agency for French Education Abroad; the Mission laïque française [French Secular Mission] who is their employer and to whom they give notice of their action.”), are actually treated as junk, delivered bound hand and foot to the whims of pupils and the yoke of the Egyptian Direction, and abandoned to their fate, sacrificed on the altar of lucre and of French neo-colonialism[21].




MISR Language Schools, a “real novel” already denunced in 2008 in the bulletin n° 88 of the Teacher’s Union SGEN-CFDT who denunced in particular “an excessive turnover of tenured staff assigned to these schools. (...) The staff have worked for months after the beginning of the school year without a contract because ‘they were being negotiated’ with the Egyptian management. The problem is that the staff didn’t know what was exactly the subject of negotiations... The teaching team of the first degree, a dozen people including eight staff with local contracts in rather precarious situation, is in addition at the mercy of the Egyptian management (...). The workload of teachers is so important that they have the feeling to bear the whole school alone. (...) All these factors weigh. And the colleagues no longer have the same hours, the general climate deteriorates and the atmosphere in the team is not looking good… At Misr Language School, life is not rose every day...[22]” But in spite of this eloquent report, this situation hasn’t evolved at all, on the contrary.

After having managed, by deploying the greatest efforts, to create an atmosphere of respect and work in my classes, I undertook to attend François. E.*, one of my colleagues in difficulty who was facing real harassment on behalf of High School students. With the approval of the Headmaster of the French section, Frédéric TUMPICH, I did my best to contribute towards solving some of the problems of this institution. I was aiming to protect the pupils and teachers and create the conditions that would allow us to fulfill our vocation of pedagogues, and to dispense a decent knowledge in terms of instruction and education[23]. I attended François. E.*, standing by him in his classes with High School students on Sunday morning, my day off, and this on a voluntary basis[24]. Despite my very recent arrival, and the fact that I was then a beginner, my youth and my knowledge of the Arab culture and language facilitated my relationships with students, as my unexpected success with my own pupils had demonstrated to all. But these volunteer interventions alongside François. E.* have often brought me in direct confrontation with the Egyptian Direction of the institution, who gave them precedence over the teaching staff, and tolerating since the beginning of the schoolyear that they made it to the classes half an hour late, and then that they do not attend classes when I was present, facts that I strongly denounced[25]. Frédéric TUMPICH explicitly told me several times that I figured on the blacklist of the Egyptian administration[26], despite (or rather because of) my investment and my successes with my own pupils, the pupils of my colleagues and my colleagues themselves. These actions had earned me, from Frédéric TUMPICH, a proposal for occupying the post of Main Education Advisor for the following school year (it was then carried out by Egyptian staff), and even the organization of interventions at the primary section with the Director of this section, Mrs. Marie-Paule M., who was considering recruiting me for the 2013-2014 school year. Frédéric TUMPICH also invited me to “consolidate” my situation with the parents, and to highlight them with my initiatives and successes in order to protect myself in facing the Egyptian Direction, who did not wish to renew my contract and had resolved to give my position of French teacher to Samuel METAUX, (self-)proclaimed Professor of Philosophy of unknown credentials, for the next school year[27]. All this is eloquent evidence of the impotence of the French Direction in front of Nermine NADA: on paper, Frédéric TUMPICH is solely responsible for the management and recruitment, whereas in fact, he is not even consulted.

It is therefore in the aim of strengthening my position within the institution, and with the full support of my superior, that I invited the parents of my 6th Grade pupils to a meeting on April 4th, 2013, which resulted in a strong reaction from the Egyptian administration as soon as she learned of it on March 27th. She asked with concern what I intended to say to parents, and tried to dissuade me from holding this meeting by invoking various specious pretexts. Regarding François. E.*, after three interventions at his side which had been crowned with success[28], Frédéric TUMPICH eventually forbade me to attend my colleague, because of the pressures of the Egyptian administration which yielded to the most dissipated students and, in fact, was encouraging them to continue, if not escalate their actions. This prohibition was served me by writing on March 17th, 2013[29]. I had no other choice but to comply, and it was actually my last intervention with François. E.*. It was nothing less than endangering the integrity of teachers, with the full knowledge of everyone. But the pressures and intimidations were such that none of the other teachers dared to respond, despite an explicit report from François. E.* calling for help on March 25th, two days before he was assaulted, where he concluded : “Faced with such behavior, which, if it is not stopped quickly, can lead to a dangerous situation, I ask you (…) to kindly use all means necessary to stop these assaults and guarantee my protection. It is not worthy of a school to allow such acts to be perpetrated by students.[30]” The situation was such that on March 26th, 2013, the question of the action that the French teachers would take if François. E.* was physically assaulted by his students was explicitly raised by Mr. Paul B., Professor of Life & Earth Sciences, in the presence of three colleagues: Farid Y.*, Mr. Eric C.* (Professor of French) and myself. Mr. Eric C.* denied the danger, prompting an indignant reaction from me. I deemed his attitude irresponsible, especially as he was the head teacher of the most threatening class[31]. I called for a strike if such an attack occurred.

Predictably, François. E.* was physically assaulted the next day, on March 27th, by a High School student (Grade 10) – Frédéric TUMPICH was then in France. François. E.* left the facility and exercised his right to withdraw for a whole week. I distinguished myself among my colleagues by my reaction of solidarity with François E.*, virulently denouncing the irresponsibility of the Main Education Advisors who took up the cause of the students. I requested a meeting with the Egyptian Headmaster, Nermine NADA, in order to put an end to these incidents. I publicly expressed my solidarity with my colleague, and I called on the French staff to go on strike. But François. E.* himself dissuaded me from doing so, seeing that I was the only one willing to take such a measure. So I simply did not give lesson during the afternoon. I took my pupils outside the classroom, to discuss the incident of the morning and defuse the situation. In agreement with Sylvie F.*, who was teaching them at this time, I spoke to the class who assaulted François. E.*, in order to “lecture” the students, in accordance with decisions ratified before by Frédéric TUMPICH[32]. The substance of my intervention was similar to the one I had previously given to other High School students with François E.*[33]. However, the administration persisted in its attitude of denial of the problem, and these events were disguised in the report that was made by Frédéric TUMPICH. His falsified “official version” only repeated the accusations of students according to which François. E.* was the aggressor, and simply passed over in silence the assault of a classroom teacher close to retirement which led him to exercise his right to withdraw for a whole week. Perhaps this education claiming to be “secular” has adopted (and amplified) the Christian motto “fault confessed half redressed”, the “sincere repentance” (sic) shown by the student perpetrator of the assault having resulted in the outright deletion of the event from any record[34].


Lastly, I also came into conflict with the Egyptian administration because of several irregularities on my wages. They were not paid to me in full. The damage amounted to almost 400 dollars. Other colleagues had experienced similar contrivances, these schools being if not a sordid trade, at least a juicy and flourishing one, whose only criterion is not the quality of education but profitability, the antithesis of the “not-for-profit” claimed in the French Secular Mission / Mission laïque française Charter[35]. I complained of this situation in writing on March 24th, demanding full payment of the due amounts and compensatory allowances, because of the damage caused by the deliberate and proven lies of the Egyptian Direction. It still had not opened my bank account, presumably for tax reasons, and then refused to answer the solicitations of my lawyers, confirming the suspicions of irregularities in the legal statements concerning me[36]. I got an appointment with the Egyptian Management for the next week in order to solve this litigation.

Thus, at the date of March 27th (the day before my exclusion), the school administration had several ongoing conflicts with me, where their faults were evident. These disputes were to be settled the following week:

1 / the disciplinary problems which, having led to the physical assault of François. E.*  this very day, right after I was forbidden to attend him, fully proved me right, and demonstrated the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Direction;

2 / the meeting with parents that I had called for the following week, with the approval of and even following the recommendation of my single superior, Frédéric TUMPICH. This initiative worried the Egyptian administration, which had no power over me according to the statutes. It dreaded what I could tell the parents – fear exacerbated by the aggression against François. E.* This meeting would have strengthened my position at the time when the contracts were renewed for the following year, according to the reasoning of Frédéric TUMPICH – a wise and benevolent calculation;

3 / the case of the proved deductions on my wages and of the falsifications about my bank account, which were to be resolved the following week at a meeting attended by Nermine NADA, the Egyptian General Director herself – whom I had never met until then –, by Frédéric TUMPICH and by Mrs. Yara YOUSSEF, acting as a Secretary.

Three good reasons for them to get rid of me at the first excuse – which they had already been looking for for several weeks, according to Frédéric TUMPICH. An external incident would provide them roughly with such a pretext. The seriousness of the situation was such that they believed to have thus dealt with the worst matter, namely the three dangerous confrontations set for the following week. From their point of view, it was imperative to neutralize me and even preemptively discredit me.

I cannot dwell here on the actual level of instruction dispensed in these institutions. I will simply attest that it is deplorable, that courses are taught by teachers who have nothing of the required qualifications or experience (see the example of Samuel METAUX, so-called Philosophy teacher who takes in charge courses of Literature, which I will develop later, or other teachers who are asked / required to teach a subject other than their own, etc.), and that the results are falsified in order to please the pupils and thus give a false impression of success (see this explicit sample signed Samuel METAUX, which literally revolutionizes the arithmetic[37]). A report redacted at the end of the 2012-2013 school year by a tenured colleague, Stephanie C.*, denounced this situation: Most of the difficulties of my colleagues emerged with the first grades... Many of my colleagues from different subjects, in particular the non-tenured teachers, had to face with unmanageable situations of takeover by pupils. The [French] Headmaster does not seem concerned by the ‘education policy’ of the institution (which is nevertheless one of his missions) and does not seek to offer the best learning conditions to the pupils. He quickly adopted a ‘clientelist’ policy, sometimes even anticipating the wishes of the parents and in fact it is the parents who make and break the contracts of non-tenured staff. Tenured personal are more protected by their detachment status... until the end of the year. Only one colleague tenured [Mr. Eric C.*] has obtained the renewal of his contract, it must be said that he did not sign the letter we wrote about our colleague [myself] who was at the gate and he shared the same ‘​​clientelist’ values of our Headmaster. Moreover, registration and acknowledgment of exam classes are done without inspection, and while the tenured teachers in the concerned subjects are removed from their positions[38], which was already denounced by the aforementioned SGEN-CFDT Teacher’s Union report of 2008: “Visit of the area inspector in primary section and uninspiring conclusion: the school almost missed accreditation by a hair. Grounds invoked: lack of school project and of staff worthy of the French system. So get to work! But the staff are already at work, even more than before! (...) Thus, despite the reluctance of the inspection to this evolution (not taking into account the biological rhythm of children and Arabization considered excessive), pupils and teachers saw their work schedules stretch... but not their wages! The Sgen-CFDT was surprised, given the current situation, that the accreditation has not been subjected to a more detailed framework with requirement to include a social dimension because the teaching staff, especially those with local contracts, endure misery at Misr. As for the tenured staff, they come and go...”
 
I mentioned all these issues – along with all the aforementioned facts – during my first meeting (on March 28, 2013) with Paul PETIT, from the Cultural Service of the French Embassy, and he showed no surprise. On the contrary, he corroborated my statements and even outbid them by telling me, quote, “You have no idea of what happens at Balzac” – another school of the French Secular Mission in Cairo. I already knew that similar, and even worse things happened in other French schools in Egypt. As I will detail in the second section, Paul PETIT dissuaded me from engaging in any action in justice by exhortations that were initially benign in appearance, gradually becoming ​​stronger and finally openly threatening because of my determination, warning me that if I tried to carry out any action that could harm the image of France, the diplomatic services would forcefully board me onto a plane to Paris. This is nothing less than a threat of kidnapping and a violation of Egyptian sovereignty, against a French national who was believed to be vulnerable and helpless.


French Embassy in Cairo


We can note that as early as 1936, Professor Henri Guillemin, teacher in Egypt, was euphemistically denouncing “students who were only average readers, in a climate that was not free from cheating in examinations”, which corresponds perfectly to what I saw and heard. Professor Guillemin was astonished at the fact that the Minister of National Education, Jean Zay (architect of the free and compulsory nature of secondary education, murdered in 1944 by the Militia during the Occupation), “had been as kind to the Jesuits as he was to secular schools; for there is the Mission laïque [French Secular Mission] and the Jesuits. He went to see both. The Jesuits worked for the French influence, obviously, for the influence of the French language, in a serious way[39].” Indeed, as I found out myself, it is quite different for the education provided by the schools of the French Secular Mission network – although Catholic schools in Cairo such as La Mère de Dieu provide education and instruction that can honor the reputation for excellence of France, as I could attest from staff and particular students of this school[40]

Stéphanie C.* summarized this situation in her report, with which I completely agree: “I do not know the local law, but there is such corruption and Egyptian institutions such as the justice are in such a disintegration that employers can act with complete impunity. The MLF [Mission laïque française / French Secular Mission] (despite its rhetoric about its values ​​and ethics) and the French administration in the person of the cultural cooperation attaché [Paul PETIT], by their lack of reaction endorse somehow the actions of all those accredited schools. This attaché had come to the school when our colleague of Algerian background was denied entry into the school, he kindly advised our colleague to renounce asserting his rights under penalty of finding himself in a plane with a one-way ticket. When our colleague told him about the many dysfunctions of the school he told him that he knew but that it was even worse in other schools in Cairo as Balzac… (also accredited) . In short, everyone knows but does not say anything because ‘it's political’... it is the price to pay for the Francophonie!!! (...) I was outraged when I saw written on the banner at the entrance of the establishment ‘French School’ while from my point of view it is a complete sham. I can certify that no cadre of the French National Education has come to this school in order to accredit the 12th grade during the school year 2012-2013 and yet the 12th grade has been accredited.

We thus can understand the interest that the direction of the French Secular Mission / Mission laïque française and the diplomatic authorities could have to act against me, in order to stifle what was actually happening in these institutions in terms of instruction and education. This is indicative of the existence of unmentionable links between the different components of this organization.


[To be continued…]





[1] French Secular Mission staff Charter: “Under the authority of the Headmaster or director of their school, they [the teachers] will act in accordance with the official texts, guidelines and directives of: the Ministry of National Education; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Agency for French Education Abroad; the Mission laïque française [French Secular Mission] who is their employer and to whom they give notice of their action.” See also: “Partner of the French Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs, its [the French Secular Mission’s] aim is ‘to disseminate the French language and culture worldwide through a teaching of quality, respectful of freedom of thought and of cultural diversity.’ As such, it is part of the educational and cultural policy developed by diplomatic posts around the world. [...] The Mission laïque française manages and coordinates a network of 126 schools attended by 49,800 students.” http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/enjeux-internationaux/cooperation-educative-enseignement/politique-scolaire/article/le-reseau-de-la-mission-laique  

[2] See these samples of emails from Frédéric TUMPICH himself, who refers to “messy and noisy classes” (November 19, 2012), and who acknowledges that he is himself about to “burnout” in an email to Mrs. Salima C.*, teacher of French and History-Geography, tenured by the Ministry of National Education, more than twenty years of service, after she was crushed under a cabinet during a lesson: “Hello Ms. Survivor, I’m downright buyer for the masseuse. (...) I’m going to her because otherwise it’s burnout.” (November 10, 2012). See again footnote n° 10 and this excerpt from a report of Salima C.* addressed to Frédéric TUMPICH at the beginning of March 2013: “In mid-January, no longer supporting the absurdity of my situation in these classes, I announce you my intention to leave. You beg me not to resign. You express yourself clearly that a second resignation would be detrimental to your career. You are on the verge of tears. You promise to implement the necessary measures... No effective action is taken on your part once again. I do not feel supported by my supervisor. My colleagues have the same feeling.”

[3] See this report from Salima C.* to the Director, Frédéric TUMPICH, dated March 2013: “In these classes, I try daily, from one hour to the next, to restore the calm needed in order for me to give the lesson. And I often succeed, but to my detriment. The effort I need to provide in order to capture their attention is out of all proportion. We must stop every ten minutes to restore order. In addition, at each session, we must start from scratch. These excesses on the behalf of the pupils wear me out: my shoulder is paralyzing and makes me suffer severe pain day and night. I consult several doctors while continuing to work. Finally, in early October 2012, a specialist stated that I must absolutely stop working or lose the use of my arm. And prescribed me a rest from work. Very experienced colleagues are subject to various student movements challenging their competence and many of us are asking you to put an end to this agitation. There has been no action on your part.

[4] See this report from Myriam* H., the colleague I replaced, dated October 17, 2012 (one month before my arrival): “Ever since the start of the school year, I have encountered big problems with the Grade 8-A class that have hindered me greatly in my progression. Wednesday 17, the bell rings, the 8-A pupils do not seem to hear it. They continue to horseplay around the class and deliberately ignore my presence at the door. Several times I ask them to line up, in vain. Finally, I manage to have them line up. They enter the classroom and begin over again to heckle and talk to each other even more, completely ignoring my presence. I ask them to stand at their tables before sitting down, some obey but the others continue to agitate and talk. I reiterate my instruction and I ask for silence to make the call. They ignore me. I address some of them in particular so that they abide by the rules and I suggest them to review the coming conjugation test saying that they are all able to get good grades at this test. After which I call their names again, none of them responding to the call of his name given the hubbub. I raise the tone in expressing my disappointment at such behavior and repeat that they are able to get good results provided that they consent to adopt the suitable behavior of a serious student. The chatter continues, increasing in volume, some students turn their back at me, talking to their peers. The hullabaloo gains momentum (squeals, bursts of laughter, swinging on chairs etc.) when I tell them, I quote: ‘Stop! I have the impression of being at the madhouse!’ They became uncontrollable and I felt destitute in front of this total lack of respect. Noise swelled still, humiliating me even more. Overwrought, I announce them that I am tired of not being able to do my job properly and that I will end by leaving. Reaction of the pupils in chorus: ‘Goodbye madam’, laughing, imitating me and continuing to swing on their chairs! With this, I have indeed left the classroom to inform Mrs. Ola; as she was not there, Mrs. Mona rushed to replace me but returned a few minutes later saying: ‘It’s a catastrophe, we must inform Mr. Frédéric.’

[5] See this other report from Myriam* H. dated March 11, 2013: “From the second week, after a week of making contact with the pupils, they displayed the following behavior: – They come into class heckling. – I do the roll call in a hubbub. – They do not listen to me, do not obey and refuse to calm down despite my requests. – The course usually starts after 10 or 15 minutes of negotiations with the students. – I am constantly interrupted by chatter and unwanted requests that are sometimes not even related to the lesson. – They totally disregard the rules. – Some students even go as far as making fun of me by imitating me. – I have to raise my voice to be heard. – They make false reports to their parents. – They were protesting against their grades and as I always left the grades as they were, they made me a bad reputation with other students and with their families. – They went ‘behind my back’ to the Director’s office to denigrate me, and he kept canceling my punishments. The pupils then returned to class, proud of their victory and multiplying the provocations against me. I put question to Mr. the Director repeatedly to describe the situation and try to resolve this with him. In vain. After I left he explained my resignation to colleagues by telling them that I was incompetent and ‘psychologically fragile’. He knew, however, that I had 12 years of experience and an excellent service record. As I wrote to Mr. Tumpich in October 2012, the situation at Misr Language School already seemed irretrievable. Another institution in Cairo, where a perfect discipline reigns, then recruited me, thanks to which I can exercise my teaching position with happiness. This discipline is the result of the management of the institution who considers that it is a prerequisite and non-negotiable basis to give lessons and to which it vouches.” Even after the departure of Myriam* H., the Director continued to lend a sympathetic ear to pupils “behind the back” of teachers, as evidenced by this email from Salima C.* to the Director Frédéric TUMPICH dated February 13, 2013: “S***, W*** and A*** [were] sitting at the back of the classroom [and] chatted without interruption throughout the projection. I asked them several times to be quiet because they were disturbing their classmates. Nothing helped. They continued to talk. So I decided to take their correspondence notebooks and to assign them a monitoring sheet which is – sometimes – the only way to temper them a bit for a few days. What was my surprise, when I was leaving the facility, to accidentally discover these three pupils in the Director’s office where they had gone to complain about being ‘filed’ by me!

[6] See for example this excerpt from an email to my relatives sent on November 23, 2012, only days after my arrival, following a meeting between the Management, parents and teachers and after having been “briefed” by experienced colleagues: “This is a facility for the upper-upper class, who pay a fortune and are treated like the princely customers they are. The entire property is therefore at their service, from supervisors and cleaning ladies whom they can treat like s***, up to the teachers and even to the highest levels of the administration, Main Education Advisors, Headmaster, Director of school. Imagine a DIRECTOR who must negotiate with pupils to get their correspondence notebook, and receives calls from parents about a particular sanction set by a teacher and he will then do his best to erase it, by calling directly the teacher or by removing the sanction himself. Pupils and their parents are the customers, and between them and a teacher there is no hesitation. I attended a meeting of parents and teachers, it was unbelievable, parents were putting everything on the back of the teachers (a guy spoke of the Gestapo, like teachers are malicious and conspire against students) and the administration was acquiescing, saying that there were abuses and violations, it was the teachers on one hand against the administration and the parents on the other hand, really tense. What matters is that the client is happy, and for that all means are good. It is a downward pressure for everyone and many speak only of leaving.” See also this report from Mrs. Salima C.* to Frédéric TUMPICH dated March 31st, 2013, which denounced “children made omnipotent by failure of the Management, (...) the compulsive and wearing undisciplined pupils in the school, their attitude disrespectful of rules and teachers, their distorted versions of facts to their parents, and their impunity” and denounces the organization by Mr. TUMPICH of this “meeting of parents (...) where teachers already heavily disrupted by the constant agitation of the youth are called to justify themselves as if they were guilty. Regularly, your management will be based on making the guilt fall on the teacher. And we will deal permanently with double bind: receiving contradictory and inapplicable orders. In addition, you are the author of numerous turnovers: what is advocated one day is abandoned or repudiated the next day... No overall vision: visual navigation. We avoid a reef in extremis; we hit the next with full force.

[7] See for example this report of a colleague, Stéphanie C.*, redacted at the end of the 2012-2013 school year: “Educational Freedom: Nothing written but pressures by the Headmaster to meet the parents’ whims (in our contract the word ‘clients’ is used, and not ‘parents’) are permanent. If parents ask the Headmaster that a certain math teacher distributes handouts of his courses to his pupils (who do not want to take notes), the same evening this colleague receives an email from the Headmaster ordering him to give handouts to his students. (...) A tenured colleague who refused to let her way of working be dictated in order to please the parents has been the object of moral harassment by the Headmaster.

[8] See these excerpts from the testimony of François E.*about the events of March 14 and 21, dated May 11, 2013: “I ​​got verbally abused by the student N***, who wanted to have his classmates of Grade 11-ES remain in the classroom [...] this student abused me again verbally and physically intimidated me on Thursday, March 21, in the presence of Farid Y.*, a Professor at the High School.

[9] See this email sent to the Headmaster on December 5, 2012 by Salima C.*: “Mr. Headmaster, Irretrievable or not? I manage less and less to support the behavior of pupils in all classes (except my Grade 10 but they seem to make others endure what they spare me) Today I returned home with renewed pain in my arm... I’m fed up. It is wearing, exhausting and uninteresting. If drastic measures are not taken (other than the mostly ineffective socio- cultural activities), I will throw in the towel. It is no longer a life. I go home exhausted every day, and I lie down immediately to sleep consistently for at least two or three hours!! These pupils are suffering from compulsive and unpunished agitation that makes vain any complacent recovery strategy. From 8 am to 3 pm, without counting the journey to work, all week long, we are in the presence of a state of affairs whose absurdity is matched only by its ability to destroy. Do believe, despite appearances, in the warmth of this message.

[10] See this extract of Stéphanie* C.’s report about the role of parents: “They pay so they can demand anything.... Egyptian pupils live in a society where human relationships are built on the ‘dominant/dominated’ model. Pupils of the accredited Schools by their social class schools were born on the side of the ‘dominant’ with everything that entails: many domestics at their service, money that allows them to buy ‘everything’. At the level of the pedagogical relationship we find the same problems, facing child ‘kings’ who tend to behave with total impunity because their parents pay and the administration, including the current French direction (…), fulfills all their vows. We must be very determined, show that we ‘dominate’ our class, without compromising (which requires a lot of energy especially since the Management does not support us) or indulge in demagoguery.” Frédéric TUMPICH, in an email dated November 8th, 2012, corroborated these facts: “The situation was very tense this week ( ...) I am trying to organize support, etc... to respond to a surge of nervousness of the parents, partly justified and partly irrational. (...) And when they feel that they are going nowhere, [the pupils] drop everything and embark on an agitation which exhausts some of your colleagues. (...) Do not raise your voice when they start talking. They react very badly when brutalized. (...) When they are tempted to go off on a tangent, enter a discussion, begin to speak from ‘one end to the other’ of the class, etc... I say very softly, ‘No, we have our program to do. That's more important. Yes. It is more important.’ I do not know if it would work in Sarcelles or Saint-Denis [Paris’ difficult suburbs], but here, it works. Of course, the experience is skewed because I am the Headmaster.” Remark from Salima C.* about this extract in a report she addressed Frédéric TUMPICH : “So the pupils are able to have an impeccable academic behavior and respect the teacher... provided he is Headmaster! You demonstrate thus yourself that your function is crucial in the eyes of our pupils. What message comes to them then when you cancel sanctions of the teacher or lend a sympathetic ear when they are punished by a teacher because of their incessant indiscipline or even their insolence ?

[11] Were particularly denounced the absence of “a ground fault circuit interrupter [in] the lab-1 that would allow to disconnect students’ tables. This has dragged a lot and after Farid’s* intervention at the parents’ meeting it was installed [...]. I also asked for an intervention of the engineer responsible for monitoring the labs’ work in order to make it clear that the electrical connections’ cables were apparent and that this posed a real danger to students, especially since those connections were at the foot of metal tables. This has never been taken care of until my departure at the end of June.” (François E.*).

[12] See Article 1 of the Contract: “[The employee] receives his instructions from the Headmaster of the French section.” It is clearly stipulated in its Charter that the MLF is the only employer of teachers, and that they respond only to French authorities (see note # 1).

[13] See the report of Stéphanie C.* that denounced “the attitude of the French Headmaster whose connivance with investors (career requires) causes submissive behaviors on the part of teachers who undergo the unbearable whether from the pupils, from families-customers or from the Egyptian Direction” and “the impunity of a French Headmaster who acts outside of any French “control” and who submits the staff to the arbitrary. Frédéric TUMPICH, agreeing to be treated as a pawn by the Egyptian administration, has himself his own moments of crisis as we have already seen in footnote n° 2. The reality is very far indeed from the protests of transparency of the Charter of the French Secular Mission / Mission laïque française, whose item 6 claims that “The French Secular Mission guarantees the quality of the educational project offered to families by its establishments. It ensures that its management procedures are transparent and that the resources it collects are properly used.

[14] Frédéric TUMPICH, in an email of April 12, 2013, sent to the staff, was making direct reference to this, with a remarkable impudence: “Mrs. Nermine and I also went to discuss with the 6th Grade pupils in order to put an end to the rumors [rather spreading them, vainly] and exchanged with parents in writing and then by receiving a delegation. The meaning of our message was simple: we recalled that the use of physical violence was inexcusable.” [while two of the three persons who indeed used violence, Samuel METAUX, the aggressor, and his companion Ms. Isabelle C., who entered the dance by dealing me a punch to which I didn’t react, weren’t sanctioned a bit and are still in a teaching position for the French Secular Mission to this day, and I was the only one to be excluded while the legitimate defense had been proven without any possible doubt]. Compare these allegations with this message from a 6th Grade student dated March 31, 2013, right after the ignoble propaganda of Mr. Frédéric TUMPICH and Ms. Nermine NADA aiming to make me look like a dangerous and uncontrollable element: “Dear M.Sallah, Do not be sad. M.Sallah we all cried when you were excluded by the school, we wanted to see you but the school told us that it was forbidden. I wish you good luck sir. (...) All the 6th grade pupils love you”; or this testimony from a 6th Grade pupil’s mom dated May 12, 2013, after the slanders against me had reached new heights: “I never heard about Professor L. but all goodness from my son, pupil in 6th Grade, and from other pupils of his class and from other classes and levels. And all testify strongly of his good manners in his behavior towards them [...] At the beginning I had the feeling about him that he was exaggeratedly sweet with them but it appears to have been his method to draw closer to them. This view is evidenced by the very strong attachment and affection they now feel for him.”; or again this testimony from a parent of a Grade 8 student dated May 1st, 2013:  the guards of the school threatened the pupils by telling them that the Director of the School said that the pupils who speak with Prof. L. will have problems in the school.” We’ll go into these elements in a more detailed manner in the section 3.

[15] According to Frédéric TUMPICH, a form of discrimination have also played a role in the fate that was reserved to Myriam* H., given her Algerian origin. I summarized this issue in an email to Frédéric TUMPICH dated April 3, 2013: “I remember our first interview on Skype, during which you spoke of the ambient racism at MISR, warning me that as an Arab person, it would be even harder for me, and even more as an Algerian, and that furthermore, this factor had played a lot in the departure of Ms. Myriam*. You warned me about what I was going to be exposing myself to, but you described me this racism as emanating from parents and students. However, I see a masterful expression of this racism in the decision of the Egyptian administration to exclude a Mr. L and keep a Mr. SAMUEL M., before any investigation, and despite all the overwhelming evidence against Mr. Samuel Métaux that have been transmitted to you. And I talked to many outraged parents who have presented it in this way” A 6th Grade pupils’ parent effectively expressed outrage in a grouped email to all parents dated April 9 2013: “if you dig into the school history you will find that such an incident only happens with non-pure French – It is a shame….:( ” Since the school is “selling” a French image, it indeed considers that an “Arabic” name has a less positive connotation than a “French” name, regardless of qualifications & skills (without which the “small” case M./L. wouldn’t have happened at the first place, as we shall see in section 2), and this point can have been added itself to all the other litigations.

[16] These resignations are listed by Salima C.* in a report to Frédéric TUMPICH on March 31, 2013: “The resignation [of Ms. Myriam* H.] was followed by the departure of the music teacher who was heckled at the extreme by the pupils of Grade 8th-A under my eyes and those of Mrs. Sylvie* F., English teacher. No sanction. (...) Mrs. Sylvie* F. goes on sick leave. Various substitutes succeed, one of which will run away leaving her material spread over a table (...). Mrs. Christelle* G. resigns at her turn both for administrative reasons: the institution does not provide her with a work visa and perceives taxes each month from this involuntary illegal employee and refuses to refund it; she also resigns for reasons due to the general situation of the school.”

[17] See this exchange between Salima C.* and Frédéric TUMPICH on the evening of my arrival, November 19, 2012 – Salima C.*: “Today, it was necessary to hold the 6th grade pupils with an iron hand (in a velvet glove...); they were a real nuisance: permanent agitation and chatter. We should, in my opinion, quickly protect Mr. L. who will have them 8 hours per week... Best regards, and good evening.” Response from Frédéric TUMPICH: “Yes, but what to do? Now, I send the species of zombies who serve us of pawns [monitors] in messy or noisy classrooms instead of letting them take the sun in the courtyard as if nothing was happening. But this is not enough. Mr. L. had the 8-A pupils afterschool. He was in shock... I’ll see you tomorrow. We show solidarity. Good evening.

[18] See these excerpts from emails sent to my relatives on 27 and 28 November 2012: “It would appear (rumor rumor) that they want to fire me outright and that they are just waiting for an excuse. But four or five colleagues have been in the same situation. I was advised to send a note to the Headmaster in order to have a written record. I’d rather go see him face to face.” “They really are rats and we are only pawns for them. (…) they dispose of me and replace me, this morning I complained and the Headmaster reminded me literally that I am on probation for 3 months, like removable by wish.” It was all the more outrageous than the Headmaster himself was exhausted and on his last legs, as evidenced by his statement quoted above in his email to Salima C.* dated November 10, 2012: “I’m downright buyer for the masseuse. (...) I’m going to her because otherwise it’s burnout.” Comment of the said colleague, referring to the charge of “psychological fragility” laid against Ms. Myriam* H. after her resignation: “If I understand English well, ‘burnout’ means ‘crack’. So it appears that teachers are not the only ones to be ‘fragile’.” 

[19] See footnote n° 17 and this message to my relatives after my first day of class, sent on the evening of November 19, 2012: “They ate me alive. It was really the coffin to state such strict rules in an institution plagued by discipline pbs, where even the experienced teachers ask to leave the next year – or even before, like the one I replaced – wallah the 6th-B grade killed me they applauded after I enounced my rules, like ‘way to go poor man you think you can manage us’. Impossible to silence them, they all talk, 80%. All the colleagues have these pbs”. Compare with this testimony of a mother of 6th Grade pupil on my relationship with my pupils, dated May 25, 2013: “A kind relation that was filled with understanding, respect and cultural exchange and thus discipline prevailed and he was keen to know their problems and try to help them voluntarily without asking for anything in exchange (...) the pupils respected him very much and he was eager to help them and they were grateful to him and were telling the other teachers about their affection for him”; testimony of an 8th Grade pupil’s parent dated May 1, 2013: “Prof. L. is an excellent teacher at the level of knowledge and at the level of his relation with the pupils”; another student’s parent on April 1, 2013: “On the Academic side I have to admit that I never complained from you and to be more specific you have been a great help to my son.  You are the only teacher I know that gave us his private Mobile and was always ready to help for free either at the school hours or by phone after school hours. Never ever have you refused my son a call for help academically to re-explain any topic within the french ciricullum.”; a 6th Grade student, on March 31, 2013: “Dear Sir, We are sorry for what happened, we wanted to say good bye before you left but we were forbidden from doing so and we cried a lot. We wanted to tell you that you were a very good teacher who taught us French at a high level. Thank you for everything you did for us and we will never forget you.”; a pupil of 8th Grade, March 30, 2013: “Good morning Mr. L., We miss you a lot. I am upset of your absence, I miss you more than you imagine, you are the best teacher I ever had, I was very upset when I knew that you wouldn't be our teacher after the [March] break. Really sir it's not because I'm talking with you [?], you are the best teacher I ever had, I liked you a lot, I understood from you better than from any teacher. Really sir there is no teacher who can replace you, who would have either your intelligence or be like you. (…) Excuse me for the spelling mistakes in the message [original in French].” We will come back on these issues on sections 2 and 3.

[20] Report of this fact by Stéphanie C.*: “One of our colleagues tenured and pregnant who returned to France for medical examinations was on sick leave from early January until March 5, 2013. The Headmaster contacted her on skype and asked her to resign because ‘he had a facility to manage’ (and parents who had found a successor to satisfy). He wrapped his pressures on our colleague telling her that the MLF [French Secular Mission / Mission laïque française] agreed and would help her to reintegrate a position in France.

[21] See this excerpt from an email sent to my relatives after my first day, on November 20, 2012: “Yesterday evening I was forced out by a colleague despite my exhaustion, private evening with a group of 3 teachers including my host, there is not even one of them who likes his job, it’s a mess, and they talk about such or such teacher who claims to like it or to manage to hold the pupils or that it goes well as liars / hypocrites (except in primary school). The fun is outside the school, on leave, or exceptionally with a particular class who happens to stay quiet. They told me especially not to doubt myself or question myself, but a teacher who doesn’t hold his class... Anyway if veterans manage pupils who even make votes to exclude them... But we are not here to work. What is certain is that my selection criteria were false [I had been contacted simultaneously by two Cairo MLF schools, MISR and Balzac], the Headmaster is not doing his job and is strongly criticized by colleagues, he dropped me in the classrooms without notice and gave me unexpected hours of study room (the colleague who assumed the interim no longer wanted to see the 8th Grade pupils, he told me so frankly when I saw him) when I’m so tired and a beginner, and the personnel management is organized for students, the clients – 5000 to 15 000 euros per year!!!!! – who behave like the owners of the school.” The fate of the Egyptian teachers is even worse, as highlights the report of Stéphanie C.*: “The Egyptian teachers are subject to ruthless exploitation, forced to stay all day in the school, forced to participate in activities (preferably on weekends) to promote the establishment for a pittance (half the salary of the first level of the non-tenured grid).


[23] Which continued to deteriorate as stated in these reports to the Headmaster Frédéric TUMPICH by Salima C.*: “The situation in the High School, and in some Middle School classes, continues to deteriorate. The months of January and February 2013 have been very painful. You cannot restore any discipline in the school. Children encounter no real limit.” (March 13, 2013) ; “Malfunctions at Misr are such that I am unable to be present in the school throughout the whole day (...) I get home every day more tired than the day before as do most of my colleagues in High School. My children hardly ever see me in anything other than a state of complete exhaustion. I am increasingly unable to play my role as a mother.” (Jan. 19); “I also wanted to say that the teaching staff is increasingly depressed and discouraged.” (Feb. 11th).

[24] Such accompanying measures had been planned even before my recruitment because of the chaos that was reigning in the school and of the complaints from the teachers, as can be read in e-mails sent by the Headmaster to the staff before my arrival, like this email from October 22, 2012 (of which I became aware later) which eloquently translates the endemic chaos of the school and the dangerous amateurism of Frédéric TUMPICH, who was also in his first position as a Headmaster: “I thank you for your participation in the meeting yesterday and for the frankness of your interventions. [...] Message received. To restore serenity in the classes, here are the protocols that will be implemented after the holiday. The head teacher identifies the disruptive pupils. [...] It is recommended to encourage pupils who are making efforts to amend or fight against their wanderlust, their demons. [...] If a pupil ‘plunges’ back, another monitoring sheet should be imposed on him. In cases where an entire class misbehaves, teachers will notify the Head teacher, the Education Advisement and myself. [...] Do not forget: – that the system of assignments during recess can be implemented. – that you can go help your colleagues during a lesson that usually goes wrong (putting yourself at the back of the room, for example). – that we can also get hand on the classes with projects of travel, carnival, charity, etc.” See also note n° 32.

[25] See for example this report concerning the first of these experiences with François E.*on March 7, 2013, dated the same day: “The students arrived in class at 1:20 p.m. [instead of 1 p.m.] in a ruckus aggravated by the unexpected presence among them of students from Grade 11-ES (who were supposed to be attending Mr. Farid* Y.’s class, but he was absent), and who invited themselves in my class without even consulting me. Obviously, I did not accept them, and asked them to leave. Faced with their reluctance, Mr. L. (who had not even had the opportunity to introduce himself yet) helped me by asking them to leave as soon as possible so that the lesson could finally begin, and when a Grade 11-S student, N***, allowed himself to insolently shout at to me to challenge my decision and ‘proclaim’ the right of Grade 11-ES students to attend this course [...], Mr. L., who was then just next to him, intimated him to lower his voice down and address me respectfully [...] N*** then redoubled insolence telling Mr. L. that he wasn’t talking to him but to me, and that he should not raise his voice at him (while he was allowing himself to raise his voice at his teacher for an issue that didn’t concern him in anything! ) [... ]. Following this verbal altercation and with the help of Mr. L., the Grade 11-ES students left the classroom, but they were followed by the majority of the Grade 11-S students. They settled right in the middle of the courtyard. [...] A few minutes later, Mrs. Ola [the Main Education Advisor] came to ask for explanations about what had happened, not understanding that students had initially entered the class and then gone out again. She thought that Mr. L. had been the cause of an incident. I explained to her what had actually happened, and Mr. L. expressed his astonishment to see her serve as an intermediary between students and teachers, instead of simply ordering them (the 11-S students) to go back to class, leaving the explanations for later – or at least to ask for them in private, not in front of students, which can give the appearance of equal weight (or less) between the word of teachers and students. Indeed, in normal times, nothing, absolutely nothing can justify that any student – let alone 2/3 of the class – leaves the classroom without being exposed to the most severe sanctions. A teacher shouldn’t have to justify himself – nor should students justify the teacher’s decisions, because they were asked to corroborate our story, which they did, as if it was necessary to consult them – publicly – about the joint decision of a (of two) Professor(s). Mrs. Ola left, and a few minutes later, she came back with most of the 11-S students, except N*** who was in her office. The lesson could then begin, and could carry on more effectively than usual thanks to the presence of a second teacher. Mr. L. was even able to exchange with students. [...] If possible, I think it would be beneficial to all that Mr. L. (who agrees in principle) gets assigned to this hour of lesson with me, or even two hours on Sunday with these 11-S students, about which it is well known that it is the most difficult class of the school.

[26] See this excerpt from an email to my relatives dated December 20, 2012: “There is trouble, some parents and students want my skin apparently, the Headmaster dixit [...] because I want to hold them and put the price – severity, punishments, and exclusions from class. Yesterday, a mother came to see me with the Headmaster, to tell us that we exaggerate, I excluded her daughter who was chatting, was reluctant to move, speaking with me insolently [...] and the mom told me that it was not a religious school, and that my directive did not seem logical to her daughter (I placed her at the 1st row, next to my office where there is a computer, but apparently it is intimidating and even unhealthy, so that’s why she did not want to...) and that I should be more flexible, and so on and so forth. Amazing how far they go to defend their ‘angels’, who are rather devils. But it’s okay, I’ll manage inch Allah. Another email from March 16, 2013: The Headmaster, who wants my well-being but is weak and himself in danger, made ​​me understand that my future in the High School was not assured [...] He suggested to me that blockages about me were coming from the Egyptian administration – Education Advisors, Direction – or possibly from a few parents. I have with me 99 % of pupils and parents, and it is the latter that decides. The problem is that it is always those who are not happy who yell and protest, those who are happy don’t show up – becausee they know nothing.

[27] Same e-mail on March 16: “The Headmaster told me to let parents know about me, organize meetings, call them, have students make projects, give lots of homework, etc.. Glitter as it is, quantity and not quality. I will try to reconcile my professionalism with such ‘publicity’, as for the theater or the letters to the Little Prince.

[28] See the testimony of M. François E.* dated May 11, 2013: “I welcomed my colleague L. to several classes in March 2013 […], as he also knew about the difficulties with this class of Grade 11-S. His first appearance is dated Thursday, March 14. [Follows an account of the events described on footnote n° 25.] My colleague L. then intervened to ‘lecture’ them and sometimes spoke in Arabic, in a firm but calm tone. Thus I could then, for about fifteen minutes, start the Physics lesson. The following Sunday (17 March ) again having this class in Physics-Chemistry (1:05 p.m. – 3 p.m.), the  students, as usual, entered the classroom more than twenty minutes late, but the student N*** remained in the courtyard, which didn’t bother me at all because the student disrupts classes regularly and takes no notes. Besides, this student abused me again verbally and physically intimidated me on Thursday, March 21, in the presence of Farid Y.*, a Professor at the High School. My colleague L., although not working on Sunday had wanted to attend my lesson […] in order to help me in case of difficulty, (as was indeed recommended by our Headmaster during a meeting held in November 2012). The lesson proceeded normally and calmly; my colleague L. intervened at different times to ask me questions and make the lesson more alive. However, on Thursday, March 21, the 1:05 p.m. to 2 p.m. course was a bit agitated, some students being reluctant to work. It was then that, with my agreement, L. spoke to try to reason with disruptive students. […] Finally, I was able to move on again with my lesson until the bell rang. There was subsequently no other course with my colleague L. In fact, the students refused to return for the first hour on Sunday, March 24. Mr. the Headmaster of the High School had asked L. to remain only for an hour, so he left the classroom (lab-1) at 2 p.m. […] What can I add to this statement? Knowing that my colleague L. had perfectly normal behavior for a teacher throughout his visits to my classes; with his only concern being to make students aware of the fact that we cannot be out of control in class and that it is necessary to respect one’s teachers.

[29] Here’s the transcript of this handwritten order from Frédéric TUMPICH, which proves that the most extravagant and pernicious queries of students or parents are obediently executed by the Headmaster, even at the expense of the personal safety of the staff whom he is responsible for: “03/17/2013 1:15 p.m. Mr. L., I’ve had requests from parents regarding your presence in Grade 11-S. Given the exceptional nature of this intervention, I ask you to remain only one hour and to avoid over all any exchange with students. See you in a while. TF.” Subsequently, I was forbidden to attend François E.*, but no action was taken to protect him, and he was assaulted the following week.

[30] Excerpts from this report addressed to Dr. Mona Yassine, Frédéric TUMPICH’s assistant (M. TUMPICH was then in France), as well as to the Main Education Advisor and to the Head teacher and main denier Eric. E.*: “Since January, a significant number of students did not come to class on Sunday. Therefore I found myself many times teaching to only three students; the others preferring to be missing in order to complete their TPE (Supervised Personal Work). And since February, these Grade 11-S students come to class with a very significant delay; I must add that since about three weeks, they no longer want to work and take every opportunity to heckle. [... ] I have to add that many students in this class are now entering the classroom (room-1, lab-1) where I work with students from other sections. It happened again Thursday morning around 9:00 on a course with Grade 12-S. As I reported during the Class Council on Sunday, March 17, these students: N***, A***, A***, Y*** and A*** have only one goal: disrupt the courses that I teach to take away from me all desire to stay next year at MISR. [...] I am also subjected to verbal threats and intimidation attempts, including from the student N***. This happened the first time on Thursday, March 14 in the presence of my colleague L. who was present at my side. [...] Also, last Tuesday, during an AP lesson (at the lab-2) N*** has once again tried to intimidate me and tried to manipulate the computer with which I was working. I had to firmly push him with the hand. And finally this Thursday, March 21, during the course which takes place from 1 pm to 2 pm, N*** came to the office where I was sitting to threaten me verbally and physically intimidate me. My colleague Farid Y.*, who entered at this time, witnessed the attack. Faced with such behavior, which, if they are not stopped quickly, can lead to a dangerous situation, I ask you, Dr. Mona, to kindly use all means necessary to stop these attacks and guarantee my protection. It is not worthy of a school to allow such acts to be perpetrated by students.

[31] Lack of cohesion and solidarity and denial confirmed by Salima C.* in her report to Frédéric Tumpich on March 31, 2013, where she mentions that such an attitude has yet occurred publicly the next day (March 27 in the morning), day of the aggression: “Mr. François E.*, Professor of Physics and Chemistry, tenured Senior Teacher at the end of his career, has been living a nightmare at school for several months. His students despise him, dishonor him, boycott or disrupt his courses, threaten him... You regularly receive him at your office but the situation does not change. It gets worse. The school recruits another Professor of Physics and Chemistry who intervenes at the same time as Mr. François E.* for hours of support, which completes his discredit. Meanwhile, his younger colleagues, including Mrs. Elodie* Q. and Mr. Eric C.* commit a mistake by criticizing him, judging him, evaluating him negatively, saying he is guilty. They share unknowingly a responsibility in the act of Mr. François E.* that I will mention below [after having been assaulted by a student, he left the facility for safety reasons; at the date of this report, he hadn’t come back – he has exercised its right of to withdraw for a whole week] because the very morning before the ‘drama’ they put the colleague in question, humiliating him in public in the cafeteria.” The causes and consequences of this mutual inter-tear (including an exceptional turnover of staff – see footnotes n° 22 and n° 35) are discussed further: “March 2013. You plan individual interviews in the aim to recruit for the next school year. Given the context, panic seizes teachers. Individualistic strategies definitely take precedence over collective reflection. Run for your life: such is the general atmosphere. Divisions of the teaching team are growing in a context where the agitation and aggression of the children and teenagers of the school develop further. After your interviews, the following statistics apear: • On 18 French teachers (including 8 tenured): – 11 departures (including 6 tenured and 2 resignations during the year), that is : – 6 non-renewals (including 4 tenured teachers) ; – 4 voluntary departures (would they have been renewed ?); Of the 10 teachers hired in September 2012 (including 6 tenured ): – 7 departures (including 5 tenured and 2 resignations during the year) ; – 4 non-renewals (including 4 tenured teachers ).

[32] These decisions of the Headmaster had preceded my arrival and were then confirmed in my presence, as stated in his email to the staff dated October 22, 2013 evoking the reaction to have in cases of indiscipline in eloquent terms (almost military): “A fast response is essential. Coordination also is. All teachers then lecture the pupils. If pupils feel that we communicate and form a united front, the game is well under way. The return from holidays in November will be an opportunity for an arm wrestling match that we will have to win. If we win now, we will have favorable conditions for the future. The fight will surely have to resume later but points can be scored.” See also note n° 24.

[33] Extract from the account of this intervention, addressed to Frédéric TUMPICH, to the French Secular Mission and to the Embassy Services on April 13, 2013, when the administration, in order to justify my exclusion amid protests from parents, substantiated their decision by claiming that I had ‘insulted’ these students (the content of this speech was partially confirmed by the testimonies of Sylvie* F. and François E.*): “‘To be a part of a [lynching] mob is as low as a man goes.’ This quote from Henry Fonda (American actor) expresses a very important truth, namely that some people who, individually, can be very respectable and have an impeccable behavior, will, in some cases, be driven by a mass movement to do things wrong and unjust. Something unacceptable goes on in this School, something I am very familiar with as I have directly taken part in the course of Mr. François E.*and I have seen firsthand the unacceptable way students treated him, with no respect, up to verbal and even physical intimidation. Today, he had to flee the School for his safety, and I do not know when he will come back. This is all the more serious since this situation is known to all, students, staff and administration, even to the point that yesterday, the question of what teachers would do in case of a physical aggression against François has been explicitly raised in the presence of four teachers. A group may well lead us way down, to the most serious injustices. It is claimed that François is not a good teacher. But first, I know him, and I can attest that he is the most competent teacher and the most invested of all in his students, much more competent and invested than myself. Because one can be a teacher without a lot of effort, or none at all. This is not the case of François. Second, he is not even given a chance to show what he is worth. I know how pupils can be cruel, without really wanting to be so or without realizing it, because I myself have been welcomed in the harshest of ways by my pupils of 6th and 8th Grades. They didn’t give me a chance. And some have confessed to me that they initially wanted to make me give up and flee, encouraged by the experience with Ms. Myriam*. At first, they could not hold anything against me, as they didn’t even know me. They did not even want to know how I was going to be, they were merciless, and they later admitted it. It is only thanks to my patience and perseverance that I could resist, impose myself and be appreciated by the pupils. No need to take my word for that. Go and ask the 6th Grades how they welcomed me at the beginning, and what they think of me now. Go ask the same question to the 8th Grades, of whom I’m not the teacher anymore: ask them if they are happy with my departure or if they regret me. It is a general truth in life: we do realize the true value of things, positive or negative, only when we have lost them. High school students have explicitly acknowledged that they wanted to get rid of François. If they succeed, they may regret it. I’m not saying there are not bad teachers. There are bad teachers. But even in these cases, we must act reasonably and fairly. Reasonably, because we must not forget that we have a main objective, the baccalauréat [High School Diploma]. The teacher will not be paid less if we missed our degree, or if we didn’t get the grade that we could have had. The teacher already has his degree, his work, so he’s already “made” his life. But it’s the pupils who have yet to make their own life. It is they who will pay the price if they have not worked hard enough. Yes, I tell you, you are the first victims of this lack of discipline, and besides, I told François that it is not as much for him as for the students themselves that I was coming to assist him in his classes, for free, during my day off. This is for you, because I see that you waste your potential by this behavior, which of course harms the whole class. Do not think that you are being made a favor by not being punished. I saw with my 8th Grades the great potential that they had, and which was revealed only after intense fighting for discipline and concentration, in productions of high quality (I even sent those to my family). Go ask them. If you focus all your energy into work, into positive things, you are capable of miracles. I am not exaggerating. […] And if I met again with my Headmaster [the one of my own High School, when I was in Grade 12 ; I had told the students about an incident in which a lack of respect for a teacher had legitimately earned me three days of exclusion], I would thank him for his punishment. I did not pay a fortune to enroll in my former High School (a free public school, as I did not have the means to afford something else, unlike you) but I was very well “educated”, the administration did its job well and assumed all its responsibilities. It prepared us for adult life by work and by exhortation to good behavior. And the more we grow up, the more expensive the lack of control becomes. So always remain in control of yourselves. This is what I tell my 6th Grade pupils with The Little Prince. I assure you, even in this school, there are many wolves [I meant in particular Samuel METAUX], so always remain masters of yourselves to protect you from their schemes: to be the smartest is not enough. The actions of some students here are not only irresponsible, for their future, but cowardly. Irresponsible because they spoil their abilities. Cowardly because they know they risk nothing. François, at the venerable age he has arrived at, is not able to defend himself as I would for example. And since the administration does not punish you and allows that each day, pupils remain in the courtyard for half an hour after the bell rang, under the eyes of the Main Education Advisor and enter the classroom at 1:30 pm instead of 1 pm, where they behave with the most unacceptable way, pupils know that they won’t be punished (and they harm themselves because they paid for an hour of lesson and get a mere quarter of an hour). And I tell you, there is nothing more cowardly, nothing more despicable than to attack someone who is helpless. In conclusion, neither I nor any colleague asks for personal favors. There is no need for you to be kind, generous, sympathetic towards us, regardless of our features or even our personal problems if any. Act in your interest. Do not lose sight of the goal. Be responsible first, and justice will come by itself. I asked my 6th Grade pupils whether it was most important to respect oneself, respect the classmates or respect the teacher. The most important thing is to respect oneself: when we have enough respect for ourselves, we oblige ourselves to respect all that is respectable, and to forbid ourselves all shameful acts. I invite you to think about yourself, and nobody else, but with wisdom and foresight.

[34] Email from Mr. Frédéric TUMPICH to the staff dated April 12, 2013, and giving credit to the slanderous accusation of pupils against François E.*: “In my absence again, a student of Grade 10 affirmed that his teacher had pushed him over in class until he made him fall. I saw the father of this student with Mrs. Nermine. He was confused by the attitude of his son. Indeed, this student was excluded from the class by the teacher and returned to class twice on its own initiative, in direct contravention with an order of his teacher. We asked the student to write a letter of apology to the teacher, which was done. He expressed sincere repentance. [sic] A suspended punishment of exclusion was taken against him. I visited the 10th Grade class and asked them to behave properly in the lessons.

[35] Thus do they pay tenured teachers at discount, citing specious pretexts for that and assuring them a renewal of their contract for the following year along with working conditions & wages that will compensate this situation, and then they put as a condition to teach other subjects than their own, even if they do not have the required qualifications or experience, and they see their contracts not renewed for the following year in case of refusal, despite previous agreements, for the following reason (Frédéric TUMPICH dixit to the colleague in question): “I ​have a huge pile of résumés of people who will work for much less than you (...) if you agree to teach French, I can keep you.” In fact, according to the report of Stéphanie C.*, “4 other colleagues experienced and tenured […] were also ‘offloaded’ without any explanation at the end of the school year in June 2013. The explanation was given to me some time after: the MISR school had sought accreditation of the 12th Grade, hence the recruitment of experienced tenured teachers for the 2012-2013 year. Once the accreditation guaranteed, they got rid of the tenured teachers. The new French Headmaster, colluding with investors and parents, has largely worked in this direction. For non-tenured teachers, there is also a pay scale but from what I understand everyone negotiates. No transparency.

[36] Here is the email I sent to the French and Egyptian directions on Sunday, March 24, 2013: “Mr. TUMPICH, As you may know, I still do not have a bank account although I took office on Nov. 19, 2012, that is more than 4 months ago. I have completed and signed all the necessary papers, more than once, and I have been constantly inquiring with Mrs. Yara on the progress of this issue. Every time I was told about a mysterious problem specific to me and also affecting other colleagues, and about which the institution could do nothing. All efforts were exercised, I was assured, and the matter was adjourned until later, when there would be news, when the concerned persons would be available, etc. Finally, two weeks ago, Mrs. Yara told me that all she could do was give me a kind of debit card that would allow me to take my pay, without having an account, which seemed not only amazing but also unacceptable: how can we work and live in a country without a bank account? Thursday, March 14, a week after discovering that I had been deprived of nearly 3,000 pounds [a little less than 400 dollars] on my previous payroll (of which I informed Mrs. Yara, demanding that this issue be resolved as quickly as possible), for the first time, I went not to Mrs. Yara (who was busy), but to the office that deals with bank accounts. I was informed that for two months, I was had just been asked to provide my address, the only missing element so that my account may be opened to the CIB. I was assured that Mrs. Yara had been directly informed of that. This was repeated and confirmed in her presence. It is therefore proven that this matter has been deliberately left to drag on for weeks, for reasons I can only imagine. And without this initiative, which was possible only because I speak Arabic fluently, I would never have been informed of the facts. Ever since my arrival, I have not had a bank account, I receive my salary in cash, and I have to keep it at home and transfer it to my account in France, with all the costly inconvenience of international transfers and withdrawals (exchange rates, substantial bank fees, delays, etc.). This is absolutely unacceptable, especially since the whole case was based on a technicality that no one has deigned to inform me of, that is my address, which I would obviously have communicated directly, having moved in at the end of November. I ask that these issues be addressed quickly, by April the 1st at the latest, and to receive a compensation at least equal to the costs incurred for all that these serious unjustifiable breaches cost me. Sincerely, L.” Here is the answer I received the same day: “Mr. L., I forward you the answer of Mrs. Nermine: She is very busy this week with interviews with new parents. She will welcome you in the presence of Mr. TUMPICH next week. Regards Yara Youssef

[37] Here are some (most brilliant!) grades & average grades of his 8th-A Grade pupils in French, for the second trimester 2012-2013: pupil N*** got three grades: 15/20, 02/20, 15/20, which makes her an average of... 16/20! Pupil A*** got two grades, 01/20 and 11.5/20, which makes him an average of... 14/20! Pupil J *** got three grades, 13.5/20, 06/20, 15.5/20, which makes her an average of... 18/20! Pupil M*** got three grades, 16.5/20, 01/20, 00/20, which makes him an average of... 13/20! Pupil L*** got two grades, 05/20, 07.5/20, which makes her an average of... 14/20! Pupil H*** has three notes 05/20, 08/20, 15,5/20, which makes her an average of... 18/20! Pupil R*** has three notes, 16.5/20, 12/20, 15.2/20 (sic), which makes her a record average of... 19/20! Etc., etc.

[38] See testimony of the mother of a 6th grade pupil, dated June 18, 2013, denouncing “a widespread corruption and a lack of rigor” and a “management lead in a brutal way”.

[39] See Henri Guillemin, Une certaine espérance, Conversations avec Jean Lacouture, Le Seuil, 1992, p. 43.

[40] It is this school that welcomed Myriam* H. after her departure from MISR, and despite a malicious attempt by Frédéric TUMPICH with the management of this establishment to discredit her. The Direction of La Mère de Dieu, who knows and abhors the functioning of these institutions, sent him packing, asking him why he complained of being rid of an allegedlyincompetent and fragile” teacher. But as we shall see, even an institution like La Mère de Dieu is affected by the operation of this system: thanks to the recommendation of colleagues and parents and after an interview, the direction of La Mère de Dieu, who knew about the conflict between me and MISR, committed itself to recruit me for the next school year, but eventually gave up the idea, yielding to the ostracism of Paul PETIT.


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