The French political class reacted strongly to the words of Eric Zemmour, who expressed on January 13 his wish to see children with disabilities educated in specialized establishments.
Many political figures reacted to Eric Zemmour’s comments on students with disabilities, the presidential candidate having said that he wanted them to be educated in specialized establishments.
According to AFP, while meeting teachers in Honnecourt-sur-Escaut (North) on January 14, the candidate of the new Reconquête party explained that on the question of the education of disabled students, “we actually need establishments specialists, except for people with slight disabilities”. The polemicist also felt that “the obsession with inclusion is a bad way done […] to those children […] who are completely overwhelmed by the other children. And to specify: “I think that we need specialized teachers who take care of it”.
These remarks did not go unnoticed and provoked many reactions within the French political class.
On Twitter, Marine Le Pen harshly criticized Eric Zemmour’s remarks. “Choosing systematic brutality as a political project is already questionable, but attacking children weakened by a disability is a red line and it is unforgivable,” said the National Rally candidate for the presidential election.
Choosing systematic brutality as a political project is already questionable, but attacking children weakened by a disability is a red line and it is unforgivable.https://t.co/kq9zKexSXI
– Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) January 15, 2022
The president of the LR deputies in the National Assembly, Damien Abad, for his part, judged that Eric Zemmour’s remarks were “scandalous”. “This segregation on all floors is an absolute disgrace. Yes, we must be obsessed with inclusion,” he added. The MP also demanded a “public apology” from the Reconquest candidate.
Scandalous remarks by Eric Zemmour on the education of disabled children whom he wants to exclude from school in an ordinary environment. This segregation on all levels is an absolute shame. Yes we must be obsessed with inclusion. I demand a public apology
— Damien Abad (@damienabad) January 14, 2022
On BFMTV, Sophie Cluzel, the Secretary of State for People with Disabilities, said she was “dismayed by this vision of society”. “What does it mean ? That disabled children are not children of the Republic?”, She lambasted, denouncing the “miserable vision” of Eric Zemmour on the question.
The left is no exception. Jean-Luc Mélenchon accuses Eric Zemmour of wanting to “exclude” disabled students. On this question, the candidate of La France insoumise prefers “to put the means to allow their education on an equal basis with all the pupils”.
Zemmour wants to exclude students in situations of #disability of the common school. On the contrary, the Future in Common proposes to put the means to allow their schooling on an equal basis with all the pupils. Two opposing worldviews. pic.twitter.com/gLIhKc2tK2
— Jean-Luc Melenchon (@JLMelenchon) January 15, 2022
Faced with the controversy, Eric Zemmour wanted to clarify the meaning of his statements the day before. “What I meant was that I don’t want the obsession with inclusion to deprive us and lead us to neglect the need for specialized establishments,” he said on January 15, remarks taken up by AFP. And to continue: “I think it’s an ideological position, as always. We decided it was better to put everyone together. Me, I think not […] not to put them away, but to take better care of them”.
In a series of tweets published on January 15, the presidential candidate called for “taking into account the particular cases” of each child, with “adapted, personalized and flexible solutions”. Eric Zemmour thus wishes the creation of “bridges” between “specialized establishments” and “ordinary”.
He also took the opportunity to denounce “the ideologues [qui] prefer to impose their “inclusive” and inhumane egalitarianism on all children with disabilities”, accusing them of being “heartless who pretend to be lambs”.
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