Back to school with a bitter taste at the Anatole-France school in Montluçon (Allier) that will close next year

A few minutes before the start of the school year, parents and children are crowding in front of the Anatole-France primary school. Some don’t hide their fear, with school bags on their backs. They move forward, dragging their feet, their eyes red. Others were clearly looking forward to being reunited with the friends and school they love so much. A school that they will enjoy for the last year.

What does the school plan 2022-2026 of the municipality of Montluçon (Allier) consist of?

A planned closure

The school plan 2022-2026 of the city of Montluçon provides for the grouping of pupils from the Diénat school in the Jules-Ferry and Balzac schools, in other districts of Montluçon.

But for now, caught up in the emotional whirlwind of this 2022 school year, the kids seem far from these concerns. Their parents, on the other hand, don’t mince words. “It’s incomprehensible given the number of children here,” says Julien Gallet. Her children, Loïc and Salomé, enter CE1 and CM2.

“Removing a neighborhood school is unacceptable. The Dienat is killed. »

Julien Gallet (parent of students)

Several parents had also put up banners the day before to express their anger. Banners were removed very early this Thursday morning. “However, we have the right to say what will happen. We have the right to demonstrate against this decision”, supports Julien Gallet. “We know that the start of the school year will go well because we fully trust the teachers, but we are angry.”

Major works on the Lamaron record to take place at the beginning of the next school year, Anatole-France would initially close for an eighteen-month period. The city, after thinking about this subject, decided to close the establishment permanently.

Extended travel time

A couple whose children go to CE2, CM2 and large kindergarten (to the Pauline-Kergomard school, which will also close at the end of this year for a consolidation within the Jean-Gionot and Paul-Fort schools) come to greet and approve the father of the family.

“We live on the coast of the hospital. The school is a five minute walk away. Next year it will take more than twenty minutes. »

parents of students

It is therefore difficult to pick up their children before lunch break. “For their well-being, the children, who are already separated from their friends, need this break… There they will have to be placed in the canteen, which will also lead to additional costs for the parents. »

The city of Montluçon (Allier) has allocated a budget of more than one million euros for work in schools

“The neighborhood is dead without schools”

A little further on, a group of three mothers is talking. And they too can only regret this planned closure. “My daughter Léna is going to CM2, so she’s going to university next year. But for those who come after it, it’s sad’, underlines Angélique Quinci.

“It’s a good little school, with great teachers. So the closure annoys me. The neighborhood is dead without the schools. And parents who don’t have a driver’s license, what are they going to do? “, adds Allison Tarteix, whose daughter, Anaëlle, now in CM2, has just passed through the gates of Anatole-France.

For some, the closure of the school is also synonymous with loss of activity. “I’m a guest parent,” explains a woman holding two children by the hand. “Specifically, the closure of the school will make me unemployed. His anger is clearly palpable. “They already closed the Lamartine school in 2018. There, the Diénat! It does not make any sense. Which school will it be next? »

Text: Laura Morel

Photos: Florian Salesse

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