French high-school student stabs teacher to death during class

© Gaizka Iroz, AFP

A teenage pupil stabbed to death a teacher in the middle of a lesson at a school in southwest France on Wednesday, the regional prosecutor said.

The teacher of Spanish, 52, was teaching a class at the school in the seaside town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz when the 16-year-old attacked her with a knife, the prosecutor said.

“I didn’t see him get up but I saw him in front of the teacher,” fellow classmate Ines, 16, told reporters.

“He was very calm. He got closer to her and plunged a big knife into her chest without saying anything,” she added.

The teacher was given emergency aid at the scene, but Bayonne prosecutor Jerome Bourrier told AFP she died of her wounds.

The pupil was arrested and a murder investigation has been opened, he added.

A source close to the case said that, by the time the police arrived on the scene at around 9:50 am, the attacker had been disarmed and other pupils isolated.

He had been carrying a blade some 10 centimetres (almost 4 inches) long, they added.

The pupil seemed to have acted in a “moment of madness”, rather than on any “terrorist motive” or “resentment”, the source said.

Ines, who witnessed the attack, said she did not really know the teenager.

“We’re just in Spanish class together. But there had never been a problem between him and the teacher in class,” she said.

‘Conscientious’ teacher

The school, Saint-Thomas d’Aquin, is a private and Catholic-based establishment close to the centre of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, which in summer is one of France’s best loved resorts on the sandy Basque country coast.


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