Based in Saint-Cyprien, Gwénaëlle and Jérôme, parents of three, have been officially considered outlaws since Tuesday, October 25. Despite an official notice from the academy inspectorate, they refuse to send their daughters to school in favor of home schooling, a way of life that “suits them” and “makes the lessons meaningful”.
Both come from, as they explain, the ranks of the “republican school” they claim to have nothing against the “classical” school. Currently installed on Saint-Cyprien-sur-DourdouGwénaëlle and Jérôme practice School house since 2016, together with their daughter Manon, who has Down syndrome and is now 11 years old. The young girl nevertheless spent two years in school, in the first years of kindergarten, but her handicap soon caught up with her. “We saw her less happy, we saw that she was not well in the evening”, recalls Gwénaëlle, her mother, who explains that the “ritualized” aspect of school did not suit her daughter.
“We saw him less cheerful”
“At that time, we didn’t even know what home schooling was, and we weren’t motivated at all to put him in a medical-educational institute,” she continues. To be able to legally teach them at home, Gwénaëlle and her husband Jérôme, until now, had to write a declaration sent to the academy and the commune; In return, they undertook to undergo inspections by the municipality every two years and by the national education system every year. The reactions from these institutions have been consistently positive and favorable opinions for the continuation of this practice.
Faced with the success of their educational approach with little Manon, her two younger sisters also fall in line and the parents, both employed and finding their benefit in homeschooling, pass the baton of running the school to the three children theirs.
Things have changed radically since the entry into force of the “separatism” law, whose real name is “The Law Confirming Respect for the Principles of the Republic”, in August 2021. “Now, this has changed the regime and we have to ask for authorization “. , summarizes Jérôme. The interlocutor is the academy of Toulouse, described as “very serious” in this matter, and the family is rejected.
Six months imprisonment and 7500 euro fine
Then an official notice from the Academic Director of Aveyron’s National Educational Services arrives in their mailbox. The latter acts for the refusal of parents to send their children to school, who had informed it and “puts them on notice” to register their children in a public or private institution within two weeks.
We demand the return to the declarative system because we will not enroll them in school, it is decided
For Gwénaëlle, Jérôme and their children, the ax fell on Tuesday, October 25, the date on which they will be considered outlaws. He is sentenced to 6 months in prison and a 7500 euro fine. By their side in this adventure, the “Free Childhood” movement, which unites about twenty families in the same situation. And some of whom have chosen nomadism or a form of disappearance to escape this obligation which they consider unjust… “Many try to go under the radar. We could not have said anything when we arrived in Aveyron We demand a return in the declarative system because we will not enroll them in school, it is strong”, says Jérôme.
“We are not saying that home school is better or worse than school itself. We used to have the opportunity to choose and we believe it is important to keep it,” concludes the young father.
Four reasons for avoiding the “classical” school.
As confirmed by the academic management of the national education services of Aveyron, “Since the beginning of the 2022 school year, the system of declaring home tuition has been replaced by the system of prior authorization”.
There are four reasons for avoidance:
– The child’s health condition or disability
– Practicing intense sports or artistic activities
– Family homelessness in France or geographical distance from any public school
– The existence of a specific situation for the child that motivates the educational project.
“Academic Services examines each situation based on the reason for the request for each child and not for a sibling. In the event of a denial, parents are notified of the means of appeal. Families who have been denied an instruction. in the family (for one of their children or for their children) can formulate a mandatory preliminary administrative appeal and, if necessary, seize the administrative court.
In case of refusal of authorization, parents are obliged to continue with the education of their child(ren) as provided by the legislator.detail National Education services.