Reinforcing security in schools

The services of the Ministry of Education, the Prefecture and the Collectivité worked together on the safety measures in schools on Wednesday afternoon.

"Following the terrorist attacks in Nice and in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, we have decided to further raise our level of vigilance. To protect students, teachers and staff, we have deployed an overall coherent strategy, which is based on three pillars: anticipate, secure, and know how to react", explained Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Minister of Education, Bernard Cazeneuve, the Minister of the Interior, and Stéphane Le Foll, the Minister of Agriculture at the end of August. A series of measures and safety instructions for schools and educational establishments was then presented.

Locally, all of the actors concerned were asked to take action, which was the purpose of the meeting between the services of the Ministry of Education, the Prefecture and the Collectivité of Saint-Martin at the Sandy Ground Cultural Center on Wednesday afternoon. They had asked the public school directors to participate in order to see what arrangements could be implemented to improve the security in schools, middle schools and high schools.

Nationally, although the reflection is mainly focused on the terrorist threat, here it was oriented toward much more local issues: risks of natural disasters and the prevention of delinquency. Discussions were therefore focused on the safety measures that are specific to schools, the securing of buildings, risk prevention and on the preparation of schools and educational establishments in the face of major risks.

"During two hours, we gave the most important information, outlined the different tools available to help teachers to meet their responsibilities in the event of a crisis," said Michel Sanz, the representative of the Superintendant of Schools in Saint-Martin. "The school principals from Saint-Barthélemy were also invited, but they were not able to come due to the weather. However, they are concerned", he said.

In partnership with this reflection, the Gendarmerie will carry out diagnostics and audits. To start, a gendarme will come to the schools and assess what can be done to improve security. Then, according to the results of this first report, more specific audits will be conducted by the end of the year by another gendarme, who will be the security advisor. This expert for the technical prevention of malicious acts will make a list of the facilities that need to be installed.

The Collectivité, which has jurisdiction over such matters, will carry out the needed work. "In order to help, we have asked the Regional Prefecture to allow Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy to benefit from part of the 50 million euro plan provided by the State to finance measures to improve security in the schools", announced the prefect Anne Laubies.

Finally, the Red Cross, which is one of the partners, was present at this meeting and its members distributed kits called PPMS (Specific Precautionary Safety Measures Plan) to the school principals.





Estelle Gasnet