French teacher dies after setting self on fire

2011-10-14 19:01

kalahari.com

Beziers - A French maths teacher who doused herself in petrol and set herself on fire in front of terrified pupils died of her injuries on Friday, police and a hospital source said.

The 44-year-old was hospitalised on Thursday after walking onto the playground of a high school in the southern city of Beziers with a jerry can of fuel and starting a blaze that left her with third-degree burns.

She staggered across the yard in front of her horrified students, some of whom joined teachers in rushing to her aid.

She was taken by helicopter to a specialist burns unit at the university teaching hospital in nearby Montpellier, but doctors could not save her.

"[The teacher] had third-degree burns over 95% of her body," a hospital source told AFP. "With these burns there was no way she could have survived."

Parents and pupils who spoke to AFP at the scene on Thursday said the teacher had a difficult relationship with several pupils in her maths class and that a meeting with them to clear the air on Wednesday had become rowdy.

On Friday morning, her colleagues staged a small protest outside the school in "solidarity" with their colleague, whom they identified as "Lise".

"Her gesture calls on all staff to show their solidarity and underlines the difficulty we have in carrying out our duties. We expect the authorities to act responsibly," one of the teachers said, as they brandished signs reading "Never Again".

A psychological crisis cell was treating shocked students at the school, the Jean Moulon secondary school, a sprawling establishment with more than 3 000 students and 280 teachers.

Principal Christian Philip said the school had reopened its doors on Friday morning for these seeking to talk about the tragedy but that all classes remained suspended until at least Monday.

Traumatised students were being assisted by a psychological crisis cell, he said, and about 80 students had already been treated. The cell was to stay in place until at least Tuesday.

In a joint statement, unions representing secondary school teachers said the incident underscored the hardships facing teachers and called for a public debate on working conditions.

Noting the "significance of the choice of the workplace to commit this desperate act", the unions called on Education Minister Luc Chatel to organise public consultations on "the realities" of teaching work.

"We must be aware of what is being called teachers' fatigue, professional problems, of the suffering at work that, while we see it in other professions, is more and more present within the education system," the unions said.

Local prosecutor Patrick Mathe said an initial investigation had found "no criminal act" connected with the incident.
Read more on:    france
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Dietician

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Tsebo Outsourcing Group
R17 000 - R18 500 Per Month

Financial Advisors

Bellville
Persona Staff

AV Technician

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
CR Solutions
R8 000 - R14 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to network and share your ideas and thoughts with your colleagues and friends. Information overload is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.