France has seen the spectacle of school age protesters creating mayhem over pension reform. In her diary, a Paris schoolgirl recounts an extraordinary 10 days in her education.
Thursday Oct 14
Today 60 students from two nearby schools massed in front of my lycée, Edouard Branly, in Nogent-Sur-Marne in the east of Paris, shouting, dancing, and throwing stones. They pushed against the glass door until the bulky repair man keeping them shut could hold out no longer.
Then they stampeded in, throwing chairs and rubbish bins around, breaking a window and shoving a female English teacher, while yelling the names of their schools.
Finally they rushed towards a courtyard used by younger pupils – who were terrified by the mob, sobbing and shaking with fear. It took a long time to calm them down.
As I watched kids my own age, who I didn’t know, trash my school I wondered what this had to do with retirement reform?
After a few minutes the horde left, thankfully ignoring me and my friends, and we slowly picked the chairs back up, hardly taking in what had just happened. Every year, there are blockades and there is trouble, but never as bad as this.
Monday, Oct 18
Do schools exist for adult employment or student education?