Two French teenagers were arrested on suspicion of setting off an explosion near a teacher after she reported receiving anti-Semitic threats at school.
The teenagers, 16 and 19 years old, were arrested on Dec. 13 in
Aix-en-Provence near Marseille in southern France for allegedly setting off a
chemical explosion in the classroom of their plastic arts teacher, according to
France Info, a public radio station. No one was hurt in the explosion.
The teacher, Chantal Viroulou, told the radio station that before the
incident, “students from that class, two or three of them at least, called me
and told me: ‘Jew, we will break your face.’” Viroulou, who teaches at the
Latecoere professional high school in the town of Istres, did not say whether
she was Jewish.
An unnamed police source told Ouest France, a local daily, that Viroulou is
not Jewish and that “the anti-Semitic connotation” is not being investigated.
The source added that the explosion — which the two suspects allegedly caused by
mixing hydrochloric acid with aluminium — “had nothing to do” with the
Earlier this week, the news site Lyonmag reported that a teacher undergoing
conversion was fired after she reported repeated anti-Semitic harassment by her
pupils at Condorcet secondary school in Saint-Priest, a southern suburb of
The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, a French
nonprofit, wrote on Dec. 13 to France’s minister of education to ask him to
launch a special action against “the development of anti-Semitic acts and
behavior” in French schools.