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News Link • World News

The Difference Between Firmness and Cruelty

•, By Theodore Dalrymple
 It concerned an attack on a teacher in a ZEP (a zone d’éducation prioritaire), one of those areas in which children are brought up to, or at any rate often exhibit, arrogant insolence, capricious defiance, and a sense of thwarted entitlement.

The teacher, named only as Marie in the article, was attacked in mid-lesson by a large male youth previously unknown to her who suddenly burst into her classroom and struck her in the face ten times with a knuckleduster. She fell to the ground bleeding. She needed fifteen stitches and not surprisingly, the attack altered her view of the world. She became generally fearful, which she had never been before. But the worst thing for her was that it took from her the desire to do what she had most wanted to do: teach in a ZEP.

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