Teachers, students and parents rallied at a French school this week in support of a pupil who received death threats for publishing an edition of the school newspaper in support of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, reports AFP. The 17-year-old student published the special edition in January after Islamist terrorists went on a killing spree in Paris murdering 17 and paralysing the city with fear for three days
The special edition, titled “Je Suis Charlie” after the slogan that went viral globally following the attack, carried poems, essays and drawings but did not include any of Charlie Hebdo’s Mohammed cartoons.
Louis, whose surname has not been given, told AFP: “It was a tribute to the 17 victims without discrimination – for Jews, journalists, police officers.” The New York Post has reported that the father of a student at the school was among the 12 killed.
Police are now looking into death threats against Louis, including seven letters in total, two of which contained bullets and others swastikas. Some were sent to his home, others placed in his school locker. The last one received earlier this month “seemed like an ultimatum” he said. A bullet was also mailed to his parents. Louis’ mother has expresses concerns about the mental state of her son, who only sleeps a few hours a night, carries two tear gas cannisters on him at all times and does not go out alone.
After expressing their concerns that not enough was done to protect the school or stop the threats, teachers, parents and pupils demonstrated outside the Marcelin-Berthelot lycée in the Paris suburb of Saint-Maur-des-Fosses on Thursday.
AFP reports that the authorities are now taking the matter very seriously. Education authorities have pledged to strengthen school security and Louis will have special police protection should it be necessary. In addition the threatening letters are being subjected to biological analysis