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Addressing immunization in the classroom, a delicate exercise for teachers


As five million teens 12 to 17 years old can receive their first dose starting this Tuesday, teachers are urged

The subject should quickly feed into discussions in schoolyards and teachers' rooms.

Long considered non-priority, adolescents can be vaccinated against Covid as of Tuesday, with the authorization of both parents.

Wanting to mark a further step towards collective immunity, the Ministry of National Education recalled, in a new awareness campaign for the youngest, the importance of this gesture "for a summer and a return to school in all serenity" .

Likewise, a guide reserved for teachers has been put online “to discuss the issue of vaccination with students”.

The stated goal: to allow everyone "to build for themselves an enlightened opinion on its advantages and disadvantages", we can read.

Among the online resources, sheets each representing the point of view of a typical character (doctor, globetrotter, anti-tax activist, etc.) on the question were made available to teachers, to serve as a starting point for a discussion. open in class.

Example of educational resources to address the issue of immunization in the classroom.


Contacted by the Parisian, the Ministry of Education specifies that these data are as many educational tools “so as not to leave teachers without resources on the subject”.

However, this awareness is not part of a program and is therefore not compulsory.

“Obviously, we are not creating a course on vaccination on June 15!

But this guide can be used in the event that questions on the subject appear in the classroom, ”adds one from the rue de Grenelle.

"The priority in high school is first of all the bac"

If the students 'curiosity about vaccination is no longer to be demonstrated, it is still necessary to have time to properly address the subject in class, remarks Sophie Vénétitay, deputy general secretary of the teachers' union Snes-FSU. “In high school, the priority at the end of the year is first the bac. With the year that we have just lived, we are mainly running after time to finish programs on time. So you can imagine that the vaccination of pupils is 10,000 leagues away from us for the moment, ”she sighs.

In college, increasingly busy programs and lack of time have also forced many teachers "to get to the point."

"We can take the time to hunt fake news on vaccines with our students during moments intended for 'class life'", underlines Norman Gourrier, professor of French in the Eure, before recognizing that he is " more and more difficult to find moments outside the program ”.

In class, lessons in life and earth sciences can then serve as a springboard to explore a specific theme.

“College students, for example, study the human body and in particular immune reactions.

And some in first class will tackle the subject of vaccines precisely, ”recalls the professor.

"Some have asked me if my arm has become magnetic"

Beyond the time constraints, the difficulty of tackling vaccination in the classroom still rests on the divisions it creates within the teaching world. "The faculty has a million people aged 24 to 64, it is illusory to believe that we would all have the same opinion on the subject", nuance Norman Gourrier. However, it is difficult to remain impassive when conspiracy theories are invited in the halls of the school. When Dimitri Breiner, a math teacher near Mulhouse returned to class after receiving his first injection, he did not expect such questions from his students. “Some have asked me if my arm has become magnetic. I then gave them a little demonstration in class with a coin to prove them the opposite, ”he slips.

To read also "How far back do we have?"

: the vaccination of 12-17 year olds begins this Tuesday and is debated by parents

In order to try to approach the subject more calmly in recent weeks, the young professor, passionate about statistics, relied on various resources and speakers.

Last February, he invited researcher and “data scientist” Germain Forestier to his class to discuss the subject of the vaccine and the virus “factually with scientific data”.

Likewise, the teacher broadcast in class interventions by the notorious epidemiologist Catherine Hill, reviewing the contamination figures.

A rigorous educational work which has not yet won over all parents.

“I received some pseudo-bullying emails telling me that I was not allowed to bring up this subject in class,” he says.

Aggression against these approaches exists and risks cooling off some colleagues who would have liked to start a debate in class ”.

Despite these possible reservations, Dimitri continues his awareness-raising work, again inviting his students to discuss vaccination with their parents.

“You can't imagine how teens can be confronted with all kinds of beliefs in their socialization bubble.

Understandably, the subject remains controversial.

So as a teacher, we cannot stand as a guarantor of knowledge, but we must be able to show them that they are also masters of themselves and of their own analyzes ”.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2021-06-18

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