The cabinet calls on schools and teachers to reflect on the murder of French teacher Samuel Paty on Monday. Ministers Arie Slob and Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education propose this in a letter to trade unions and umbrella organizations. On Monday, the murder of Paty is also discussed in France.
“We ask everyone in education to reflect on the importance of freedom of expression on Monday,” Slob and Van Engelshoven write to the General Education Union (AOb), CNV, the association of universities VSNU, the PO Council and the VO council. “In whatever way suits best, let’s show our solidarity”, the ministers write.
Slob and Van Engelshoven were asked by their French counterpart to also consider the murder in the Netherlands.
The flag at Dutch schools can be half mast on Monday, teachers can talk to each other and / or students or there can be a minute’s silence, the ministers propose.
Paty was beheaded while walking
47-year-old Paty was beheaded two weeks ago on a walk home from school by an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent after using cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in a lesson on freedom of speech in his class.
The attacker was shot by police officers. Eleven other suspects, including family members of the perpetrator, have been arrested.
CNV Education has already supported the call. “We believe it is important that everyone, in his or her own way and appropriate to his or her school and pupils or students, reflects on the core values of our democracy. What teachers should be able to talk about in freedom and safety with their pupils and students,” said chairman Jan de Vries. “Naturally, the way in which this can be done differs per school and per age.”