May 2014
The merry month of May…

A recent study carried out by a chief schools inspector, brought to light a worrying lack of civility in schools, amongst both pupils and parents alike.
Yet again, it seems that fundamental values of the French Republic, such as good citizenship and respect for others, are in decline. Social interactions are increasingly based on defiance or even violence. And schools are in no way immune to this worrying downward spiral. On the contrary, this is often the place where the tremors of a society in pursuit of an elusive collective narrative are most keenly felt.
In the context of an uncertain future, each individual ends up having to rely on themselves, armed with only their own strengths and weaknesses. When things don’t work out as planned, today’s weakened society often fails to provide the necessary safety net to protect our fellow citizens and help them bounce back.
This story plays itself out all too often in our establishments. The social and economic downgrading of some of the people we take in, means certain individuals only seem able to express their disarray with acts of increasing violence. When normal social codes have long been absent from their lives, and their background is one of chaos and brokenness, who can be surprised when this happens ?
So is our only option resigning ourselves to looking back at a bygone era when things were better than they are now ?
Absolutely not ! When you look closely, there is a great deal of positive energy to be found. Myriad initiatives based on working together are constantly emerging, with an entrepreneurial willingness to break away from the disenchantment which can easily take over.
To a certain extent, our establishments mirror what goes on in schools. Professionals can abandon themselves to fatalism, or they can commit themselves to a collective willingness to reinforce social cohesion for the long term.
Our establishments provide a tremendous life experience, where the people we take in can gradually rebuild themselves, providing that the association leaders mobilise the collective energies towards a unified goal, harnessing a creativity and concern for others.
The lack of civility in all its various forms, is not an inevitability : every one of us can do our bit, however small, to bring it back. Working together and showing concern for each other is a good start.
So let’s make it happen !
The President
Francis Bouten