The MDES protests against excavation operations in schools, the Prefect and the Rector of French Guiana respond

Since the start of the new school year, several excavation operations have been carried out in schools in Guyana, particularly in colleges and high schools in the grip of violence. On November 13, 2022, the MDES expressed its disagreement with these “brutal police maneuvers”. On November 17, the Rectorate and the Prefecture of Guyana responded.

It is, according to them, “irresponsible remarks”. Thursday, November 17, Thierry Queffelec (Prefect of Guyana) and Philippe Dulbecco (Rector of the academy) responded to a statement issued by the Movement for Decolonization and Social Emancipation four days earlier.

The latter was referring the excavation operations carried out at the Arsène Bouyer college in Angoma and the Bertène Juminer high school in Saint-Laurent du Maroni on November 7. The secretary of the MDES, signatory of the letter, describes these practices as “brutal police maneuvers” which he opposes.

The MDES considers that it is the heads of the establishments and their teaching teams who must educate the students, make them aware of the abuses of society and check that they respect the internal regulations. […] The MDES demands that these commando operations no longer occur.

Excerpt from the MDES press release

Members of the movement add: “They have no educational character. […] and are, in fact and symbolically, absolutely counter-productive.”

But according to the Prefect and the Rector, “these checks have the sole purpose of detecting and removing weapons, narcotics or any other prohibited and dangerous object in the school environment, in light of the violent incidents that have occurred in recent months, in and around many schools in French Guianawhich moved the population and rightly traumatized the educational community, the parents of students and the students.

Search of student bags during an operation at Elie Castor high school

©Myriam PONET

They continue:We don’t learn, we don’t teach in a hostile environment, when we fear for our physical integrity, when the threats are too strong“. The operations would, moreover, carried out at the request of the management. According to Ministry of Interiorin schools, only one judicial police officer (OPJ) may search a student’s personal belongings (bag, locker…). The latter must be present in the event of a search of his belongings.

They can take place in any establishment in France, and make it possible to prevent weapons, narcotics or other dangerous or prohibited materials from entering schools, which must in all circumstances remain sanctuaries for education, acquisition of the common core of skills, knowledge and culture and citizenship education.

Excerpt from the press release from the Rector and the Prefect of Guyana on the fight against school violence

Jean-Victor Castor, MP for the 1st constituency of Guyana and member of MDES, was the Invi Thé Café of Charly Torres, this Friday, November 18, 2022, during the Mayouri Info. According to him, “it is the total failure of the policy of the State, in its sovereign powersparticularly in terms of security, which means that today schools are impacted“. He invites the Prefect to “do his job outside the schools so that there is security in the schools”.

Jean-Victor CASTOR, MP for the 1st constituency of Guyana in Le Mayouri Info.

©Guyane the 1st

Christiane Taubira, former Minister of Justice also raised the issue during her speech on the program Place Publique (issue of October 22, 2022). She returned to the video of students from Elie Castor high school in Kourou, in which they simulate drug use. This scene followed a search operation.

These operations were triggered by this video, and by violent events that took place in front of schools, that is to say on the public highway… And this nuance is not useless, it is even essential . Because we have, collectively, a duty to protect our youth.

Christiane TAUBIRA, former Keeper of the Seals

– Guest of Place Publique (22/10/2022)

The former member of French Guiana considers that this aid involves information, support, training and protection of young people and adolescents in the territory. “In the criminal environment – which is really the backdrop and background noise in which these students grow up – is what we have to do urgently, is to go and search the students’ bags? When acts of violence are perpetrated in the public square, establishments must be secured.“, believes Chrisitane Taubira.

The MDES protests against excavation operations in schools, the Prefect and the Rector of French Guiana respond – Guyane la 1ère