His silence had become deafening. Rector of the Academy of Versailles from October 2018 to July 2023, Charline Avenel was therefore at the head of the rectorate last year, when her services sent Nicolas a threatening letter, described as "shame" by the Minister of Education Gabriel Attal. This letter addressed to the parents of the teenager, who committed suicide at the beginning of September, reproached them for their attitude towards the officials of the rectorate while they reported the harassment suffered by their son.
The revelation of this letter in the press sparked a wave of national indignation. Since then, other similar letters have been revealed. On Friday, the father of an 11-year-old girl accused academy officials of also sending him a "threatening" letter after filing a complaint against X in March for sexual touching of his daughter.
In a long interview with Le Parisien, Charline Avenel returned to these letters, and first asked forgiveness from Nicolas' parents: "I understand their indignation," she said. But, above all, I apologize on my own behalf and on behalf of the institution I headed to Nicolas' parents. It is unacceptable that they should have received such a letter."
" READ ALSO School bullying: after the letter of the "shame", Attal summons the rectors
Letters sent "indiscriminately"
Charline Avenel, who confesses to having first "decided to remain silent until the end of the inspection ordered by the Minister of Education", believes that "it is [s]on duty to give some keys to understanding" so as not to let "certain untruths flourish". She explains that she discovered in the press the letter addressed to Nicolas' parents. "This letter was not intended to be communicated to me. Of course, today, I do not give up, "she says, recalling that the academy of Versailles is that of France which has the largest number of students.
This letter followed a request for functional protection by the principal of the college where the teenager was educated. The principal had indeed requested the assistance of the rectorate, because Nicolas' parents were planning to file a complaint against him.
A letter of disapproval is sent by the rectorate to parents who threaten a member of the teaching staff, "recalls Charline Avenel, who believes, however, that "in this case, there was no need to send such a letter to parents in distress, on a case of harassment and without taking care to exchange". Had Nicolas' parents really behaved reprehensibly against the principal of the school? "From what I know about the attitude of the parents, absolutely nothing justified this sending ..." says Charline Avenel, without giving more details. In any case, it acknowledges a problem in the organization of the Rectorate's services: "this dysfunction highlights flaws in the procedure and raises the question of the human relationship with users".
See alsoPolemical letters, threats... The rectorate of Versailles in turmoil
I validated the principle of letters addressed to families that threaten teachers. But never for correspondence with families whose children are victims of bullying. I discover that these letters of disapproval have been sent, and I fear it in numbers, indiscriminately to families in distress, "adds the former rector.
Charline Avenel also returns to more personal reproaches that have sometimes been addressed to her: Emmanuel Macron's classmate at the ENA, his appointment has sometimes been criticized as being due to his proximity to the head of state. "I am indeed the victim of a violent campaign of threats and insults on social networks," she said. This is secondary to the drama we are experiencing, but I have filed complaints." And to add, to defend himself from any proximity to Emmanuel Macron: "We were in the same promotion of the ENA, but we are not close. [...] I have only seen the president on rare occasions, all professionally since I took office. My application was not exotic.»