France, an indivisible, secular, and democratic Republic

France, an indivisible, secular, and democratic Republic
Dominique Bernard ; Samuel Paty © DR

On Friday 13 October 2023, three days before the anniversary of the tragic death of history and geography teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded on 16 October 2020 by an Islamic terrorist, a a French teacher, Dominique Bernard, was stabbed to death and three other people were injured, two of them seriously, by an Islamic terrorist at the Lycée Gambetta in Arras.

This attack once again struck at one of the fundamental institutions of our society, national education, which is common and free to all, and those who defend its values every day.

We extend our most sincere condolences to the teacher’s family, friends, colleagues and pupils, and our full support to those who were injured and to their families.

As we did three years ago, we would like to reaffirm, forcefully, our determination to defend, in all of our actions, freedom of thought, which is inseparable from education and culture, in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the French Republic*:

FIRST ARTICLE of the Constitution
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Elle assure l’égalité devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d’origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances. Son organisation est décentralisée.
La loi favorise l’égal accès des femmes et des hommes aux mandats électoraux et fonctions électives, ainsi qu’aux responsabilités professionnelles et sociales.

[France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, without distinction of origin, race or religion. It shall respect all beliefs. It shall be organised on a decentralised basis. Statutes shall promote equal access by women and men to elective offices and posts as well as to positions of professional and social responsibility].

[…] La devise de la République est “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”.
Son principe est : gouvernement du peuple, par le peuple et pour le peuple.

[The maxim of the Republic shall be “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. The principle of the Republic shall be: government of the people, by the people and for the people].

La souveraineté nationale appartient au peuple qui l’exerce par ses représentants et par la voie du référendum.
Aucune section du peuple ni aucun individu ne peut s’en attribuer l’exercice. […]

[National sovereignty shall vest in the people, who shall exercise it through their representatives and by means of referendum. No section of the people nor any individual may arrogate to itself, or to himself, the exercise thereof]

published 13 October 2023 15h15 (updated on 17 October).

*Constitution of the Fifth Republic adopted on 4 October 1958.