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suspended sentence for the teacher of a child defenestrated by a comrade

The teacher of a schoolgirl with Down syndrome defenestrated by her “psychotic” classmate in 2015 in Périgueux, was sentenced on appeal Tuesday in Bordeaux to 4 months in prison suspended for “manslaughter”.

The fall of little Laly, eight years old, from a height of five meters, had occurred in a general education establishment, the private school of the Sacred Heart, which welcomes children with psychomotor disabilities and /or behavioral problems in a class specializing in inclusive education.

At the time of the facts, the girl had left the room of this class, once her work was finished, to join the adjoining playroom where her little friend was, far from the eyes of the teacher.

132,000 euros in damages

The lack of supervision at this precise moment is “a serious fault” on the part of the teacher, considered in its judgment the Court of Appeal of Bordeaux, without calling into question her right to practice in front of students.

The Court also requested the payment by the State, represented by the rectorate, of more than 132,000 euros in damages for “moral damage” and “funeral expenses” to the victim’s family, “in deduction of sums” already allocated by the administrative justice, which had condemned the social assistance to the childhood of Dordogne to damages.

For the lawyer for the Laly family, Me Pierre-Daniel Lamazière, this decision “can bring some serenity to the family, recognizing their suffering and their feeling of great injustice”.

The teacher says “heard nothing”

“I didn’t see the children in the next room. It haunts me,” teacher and headmistress Elisabeth Jaccard said at the hearing at the end of March before bursting into tears, saying “heard nothing” as she looked at the work of the other students. . The school life assistant was on his side gone to lunch.

For Advocate General Céline Raignault, this director “could not ignore” that the little boy “required increased supervision. She had indicated that he was becoming truly unmanageable”. The child had also already beaten the girl with Down syndrome on the school stairs on the grounds that “she was shorter than him”.

Instructions had been given to monitor him and a meeting was scheduled to propose his transfer to a medical-educational establishment.

Released at first instance

Other facts prior to his arrival at the school had not, however, been brought to his attention by the social services of the department: in 2013, the boy had already pushed a girl from the balcony of a house, injuring her slightly. The director assured her at the hearing: “if she had been informed, she would have refused to register it”.

By deploring, in its judgment, that the social services enrolled the boy in this school “without sharing with Mrs. Jaccard all the information at their disposal”, the Court held that “the teacher is not solely responsible for the death”, reacted the teacher’s lawyer, Me Lionel Béthune de Moro, who will “think” about an appeal in cassation.

At first instance, the teacher had been acquitted by the Angoulême court, which had justified its decision by “the absence of serious fault”.

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