Le non-respect de la minute de silence à la mémoire des victimes de Charlie-Hebdo a l’école Steiner-Waldorf de Verrières-le-Buisson

 

Here Gregoire Perra provides his explanation of why a Steiner school in Paris did not join with other French schools in observing a minute’s silence out of respect for the victims of the attacks on the staff at Charlie Hebdo.

I will give my translation of some of the post below in a comment.

La Vérité sur les écoles Steiner-Waldorf

Au cours de ma scolarité dans les écoles Steiner-Waldorf de région parisienne, je n’ai jamais observé de minutes de silence. Nos enseignants ne tenaient en effet jamais compte de ces injonctions des autorités de la République et ne les faisaient pas respecter aux élèves. Quand j’étais professeur Steiner-Waldorf non plus. Il n’était pas question, pour le corps enseignant Steiner-Waldorf, de se conformer à cette pratique collective nationale, ni d’y impliquer les élèves. Quand nous en parlions, lors des réunions de professeurs, et qu’était soulevée la crainte du reproche d’incivisme qui pouvait nous être adressé par des observateurs extérieurs, nous nous disions que la réponse appropriée consisterait à dire que certes, nous n’avions pas respecté la minute de silence dans les formes exigées, mais que nous avions consacré, aux environs de l’heure prescrite, un moment d’échanges et de discussions spontanés entre professeurs et élèves au sujet des événements tragiques survenus. L’argument que…

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One comment

  1. Helen

    Last Thursday all schools in France were asked to take part in a minute’s silence, out of respect for the victims of the shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
    “Le Monde” reported on the fact that the Verrières-le-Buisson Steiner school did not conform to this request, and described how teachers explained this by saying that rather than rigidly conforming the school instead allowed children to discuss the events of the previous day, at around the same time.
    Grégoire explains that in all his years in Steiner school, as student and teacher, he never witnessed a minute’s silence being observed.
    When asked to explain, Steiner teachers claim that they prefer to allow the children to discuss events spontaneously among themselves.
    He provides different reasons for this non-conformity than those given in Le Monde, (included in the blog post) which implied that the Steiner teachers’ approach was somehow superior;
    “As though traditional teachers would never think to discuss current events with their students before or after the minute of silence observed,and that they would provide no explanation and stupidly execute orders from on high, acting like robots!”

    These are the reasons he provides instead;

    1 The desire to preserve in the minds of students a division from the rest of French society;
    “this rejection on the part of Steiner institutions to do things like others is much more than mere assertion of an educational singularity! This is mostly a will to disconnect, a way to show superiority, to feel different and proud of it, above the “herd of these students and these teachers in public schools” that respected the minute of silence as requested. But this sense of superiority, which is distilled voluntarily and constantly in the minds of Steiner students by anthroposophic educationalists, is nothing but a subtle way of suggesting that they are beings apart, the “select” personalities, out of the ordinary, that would not have to fully comply with the rules and laws of the society in which they live,” as he described in his article entitled “indoctrination of students with Anthroposophy in Waldorf schools”.

    2. Visceral hatred from within anthroposophy for any expression of a spirituality that is not theirs, even when it is expressed as a secular ritual. [such as the minute’s silence]

    “They have their own particular rituals, namely the verses (Steiner prayers) and the rituals performed at festivals…Nothing disturbs them more than the introduction of any form of “sacredness” that does not conform to anthroposophy. Therefore excuses are found to avoid such events.”

    Referring to the way Steiner schools seek to divide their community from the rest of society, he says
    “Such a feeling, omnipresent in this kind of establishment, is actually one of the most effective ways to prepare students to want to stay later in a world apart, away from mainstream society and its way of operating, namely what I called the “anthroposophic environment”. (see post Who are the anthroposophists)
    I believe that the failure to comply with the minute silence in memory of the victims of the attacks at Charlie-Hebdo was a deliberate practice, once again, of indoctrination, by creating distinctions from the rest of society.”

    Grégoire speculates on the reason for the publication of such a misleading article in Le Monde, and reminds readers that this publication supported the French Anthroposophical Society when the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission singled out the “sectarian drift” character of Waldorf schools back in 2000, calling it a “Harmless Old Philosophy club”.

    “Well no!” says Gregoire.” I can say from personal experience from within: Anthroposophy and its institutions are far from “harmless”, no offense to some of the World journalists who allow themselves, today as yesterday, to say such things to their readers. Admittedly, I have neither the means nor the audience of this national newspaper. But I hope I have helped to establish the truth for readers wishing to obtain valuable information.”

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