Saturday, October 24

Conflans attack: three questions on the creation of a toll-free number for teachers

After the terrorist attack which targeted a history and geography teacher, the Ministry of National Education announced the creation of a toll-free number.

This is one of the government’s favorite responses to the problems it faces: the toll free number. After an alert on the number of suicides in the police, Christophe Castaner, then Minister of the Interior, announced the creation of a toll-free number.

To respond to domestic violence, a prevention number intended for perpetrators was created last April at the instigation of Marlène Schiappa. To respond to teachers after the attack against Samuel Paty, professor of history and geography at a college in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), a toll-free number was also set up by the Ministry of Education this weekend.

This toll-free number is 0805 500 005 and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • What is a toll free number for?

A toll-free number is first a number starting with 0800 or 0805. It is very accessible because it is free for everyone. In the context of a traumatic event or one raising many questions (as for the coronavirus crisis for example), it is a listening platform supposed to inform and reassure the person on the phone. A national system for listening and psychological support.

Despite the good intention of an attentive ear to people in questioning or distress, the latest toll-free numbers have not proven their effectiveness. A survey of franceinfo on the number set up in the context of the coronavirus crisis for all questions not related to symptoms reveals that at the other end of the handset, there were rarely professionals able to answer the questions. “It was presented as a cell of experts while, behind, there were many temporary workers without any experience, especially at the beginning”, notes Samira Alaoui, central CGT union representative at Teleperformance, interviewed by the site.

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The same goes for the toll-free number set up for Lubrizol. Joining an advisor has proven to be an impossible mission: “I immediately tried to call but I had no one, like most people around me”, recalls Pierre-Emmanuel Brunet, president of the Rouen Respire association, from franceinfo.

Regarding the toll free number for police officers in distress, it refers to the psychological support service of the police which “has only 70 clinical psychologists for 150,000 police officers, and the listening cell has only received 354 calls from 220 people when over the same period, we managed 6000 “, deplores in Paris Match Christophe, vice-president of the association SOS Policiers in distress. The police union Vigi has also criticized the measure taken for teachers, judging “zero effectiveness” that it has in the context of suicides in the police, but also mutilation of horses or domestic violence.

  • What do teachers think of such a number?

For teachers, this number does not respond to the urgency of the situation. Education is indeed one of the prime targets of Islamist terrorist organizations, in France or elsewhere. So, faced with this response from the government, on social networks, many accounts of professors mock or protest against such a measure deemed derisory. Others laugh at the proliferation of green numbers under the five-year term of Emmanuel Macron.

As after the assault of a professor by a student in Créteil in 2018, the hashtag “#Pasdevague” resurfaces on the social network pointing to the shortcomings in the National Education and shouting the anger of the teaching staff.

Samuel Paty was murdered and beheaded on Friday on his way home by an 18-year-old Chechen Russian, Abdouallakh Anzarov, shot dead immediately after by the police.

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