Teacher Dismissed for Showing a Film About Abortion

Country: France

Date of incident: March 31, 2011

A French history teacher was permanently dismissed for showing his students a video on abortion and talking about French abortion law.

On March 31, 2011, Philippe Isnard, a teacher of history and geography at Manosque, France, was dismissed without any financial indemnity from the French National Educational system for showing his students videos and pictures of abortion while discussing French abortion law. Dismissal without indemnity is the harshest disciplinary sanction. The teacher points out that the French history, geography and civics curriculum requires teachers to organise debates on social issues, including contradictory documents. As in prior years, Isnard organised such a debate on abortion in October 2010, inviting students to participate and provide their own material if they wished. He introduced several documents and films to highlight both sides of the topic, discussed the text of the 1975 abortion law, read a speech by Simone Veil defending the legislation, and played short documentaries to the class. Information was not imparted by Mr. Isnard against the will of the students, as they had the option to abstain from watching the film and viewing the photos as well as the choice to leave the classroom during the debate. The aim was not to shock, but to spread truth, science, and education.  The French education minister denounced the teacher’s alleged actions asserting, “What has happened is unacceptable. Professors are under obligation to respect neutrality, and to have respect for the person.” Mr Philippe Isnard was immediately suspended for four months before being permanently removed from the French National Education Administration.  On the 9th of March there was a disciplinary committee hearing for Mr. Isnard after an investigation took place. The ECLJ testified in Isnard's favor, yet the committee has decided to recommend the permanent dismissal of Isnard from the National Education Administration. With such a decision, it appears that abortion is a taboo for the French Educational System and should not be discussed, lest questioned. We thank the European Center for Law and Justice for this press information.  LifeSiteNews reported in 2010: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/french-teacher-suspended-for-showing-abortion-film-to-students-denounces-me/ http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/40000-strong-paris-march-for-life-an-unprecedented-success/