Teenager holds school children hostage in France
Written By Carol Anne Hunt on Monday, December 13th, 2010
Planoise, France (Toufik-de-planoise)
Twenty pre-school children and their teacher were released safely, Monday, after a 17-year-old youth held them hostage for 4 1/2 hours in Planoise, France.
The teen, who was on medication for depression, and took the classroom hostage with two swords, said the French Ministry of Education. He apparently had “demands” the ministry said, but would not specify what they were.
The incident took place at the Charles Fourier preschool, in Planoise, which has a large immigrant population. Initially, 20 children, ages 4 – 6, plus a teacher were held, but about 14 were released after a while, and one “more or less escaped,” said Besancon Mayor Jean-Louis Fousseret. He would not confirm reports that the youth had requested a gun to kill himself.
Gendarmes did not enter the school during the incident, and they were in contact with the youth by telephone, however, the area was cordoned off and marksmen took positions outside the school.
Fousseret said the teacher led the remaining children out of the school calmly, as if they were going for a walk. Police met them with blankets and carried them away from the school as worried parents watched in the intense cold.
Luc Chatel, Education Minister reported the hostage-taker did not threaten or harm the children, and they were allowed access to the bathroom as necessary throughout the ordeal.
Children at a nearby elementary school were not allowed outside, even to go home for lunch, during the incident.