• France's news in English
 

Police haul girl, 5, out of school over meals bill

Published: 10 Jan 2013 17:28 GMT+01:00

The incident, which has caused uproar in France and left the girl’s parents fuming, took place at the private Saint-Vincent d'Ustaritz school in the town of Ustaritz in the South West Pyrénées Atlantique region.

It emerged the youngster, named as Léa, was kicked out of the canteen in the middle of dinner earlier this week, after authorities decided it was time for tough action after parents had failed to cough up the €170 debt.

“I understand the fees should have been paid but less than 200 euros worth of debt is laughable compared to the damage done to Leah,” her father Laurent told French TV station TF1 on Thursday.

The incident has shocked the local community and Ustaritz’s mayor Dominique Lesbats has been forced to step in to try and calm the rumpus.

Lesbats told AFP he regretted “the events” but noted the parents had been sent four separate orders asking for the bill to be paid. The mother of the child had also been warned her daughter was not allowed to eat in the school canteen, Lesbats said.

“We deal with numerous cases like these and implement solutions but it is still necessary for parents to respond to summonses,” he said.

It remained unclear who exactly was responsible for giving the order to remove the girl from the canteen, with the headteacher of the school condemning the action as “irresponsible”.

“We do not take children hostage in this manner,” said Laurent Aguergaray.

France's Education Minister Vincent Peillon added his voice to the outcry on Thursday, when he called the ejection of the girl from school a "scandalous act of violence".

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French nuclear giant Areva to cut 6,000 jobs
Employees of French Energy firm Areva protest outside a waste plant in January 2015. Photo: AFP

French nuclear giant Areva to cut 6,000 jobs

French nuclear giant Areva announced on Thursday that it would cut up to 4,000 jobs in France and as many as 6,000 worldwide after the group incurred massive losses last year. READ  

Cannes: Thieves pinch €17.5m worth of jewels
The Cartier jewellery shop window on the Croisette in Cannes, French Riviera. Photo: AFP

Cannes: Thieves pinch €17.5m worth of jewels

Four robbers who hit a luxury Cartier boutique in the French town of Cannes this week made off with an estimated €17.5 million ($20 million) in jewellery and watches, sources close to the investigation said on Thursday. READ  

Video
Prince Harry unwitting star of French comedy
Photo: Screengrab from the trailer "Connasse: Princesse des coeurs"

Prince Harry unwitting star of French comedy

A French actress climbed the gates of Kensington Palace in high heels, interrupted the changing of the guard and spent two nights in a British jail as she secretly filmed a comedy about a Parisian desperate to marry Britain's Prince Harry. READ  

Boules match descends into violent brawl
Photo: AFP

Boules match descends into violent brawl

A regional pétanque (boules) championship in south western France was marred earlier this month when one of the matches descended into a mass brawl, that saw seven people arrested and the referee suffer a blow to the head. READ  

France's Piketty backs Miliband... not Hollande
Thomas Piketty, France's "rock star economist" says the UK would be better off under a government. Photo: AFP

France's Piketty backs Miliband... not Hollande

On the eve of the UK election, France's "rock star economist" Thomas Piketty, says the UK would be better off under a Labour government than the Tories, who have only helped to boost inequality over the last five years. READ  

National Front in crisis
Feud-hit National Front now face fraud charges

Feud-hit National Front now face fraud charges

France's far right National Front, already embroiled in a bitter family feud, was hit Wednesday with fresh charges of electoral fraud. READ  

Uber launches helicopter service for Cannes
A helicopter in Cannes, southern France. Photo: AFP

Uber launches helicopter service for Cannes

US taxi service Uber is launching an on-call helicopter operation to get Cannes Film Festival-goers from the airport to the venue in a matter of minutes. READ  

Paris loses out in rankings for sexy singles
Where are the most (and least) attractive single people in France? Photo: Shutterstock

Paris loses out in rankings for sexy singles

The most attractive single people in France are not actually in gay Paris, (as the myths and Parisians would have you believe) but Lyon. Or at least that's according to a new survey which also ranked where the least attractive single people in the country are. READ  

Counting Muslim kids: A very French scandal
School children wave French flags, but should authorities be allowed to label them on ethnic grounds? Photo: AFP

Counting Muslim kids: A very French scandal

A far-right French mayor caused one heck of a hullaballoo this week when he admitted using the names of school children to count the number of Muslim pupils. A classic Made in France scandal that has once again provoked a row. READ  

France 'trusts' Germany to act on spying claims
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP

France 'trusts' Germany to act on spying claims

France said on Wednesday that it was confident the German government will take the necessary action after claims that its intelligence services spied on top French officials. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Thomas Piketty backs Miliband for Britain but not Hollande for France
Travel
The most spectacular places to watch the sun set around France
Gallery
The most spectacular sunset pictures from around France
Gallery
The most spectacular sunset pictures from around France
Gallery
The most spectacular sunset pictures from around France
National
France tells migrants in Calais to 'forget the UK and stay here'
Who's to blame? Trial after Frenchman dies downing 56 shots
Society
VIDEO: See what's beneath the surface of the French Riviera
National
French teen suicide after sex video web bullying
France launches bid to buy Europe's biggest and most spectacular dune
Business & Money
Why May 2015 is the best month in years to work in France
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in May
Five great outdoor bars in Paris to check out this summer
Double standards? French Muslim barred from class over long skirt
National
France goes on the defensive after UN experts say 'racism is trivialised'
Five reasons we should be worried about France's new snooping laws
International
The French don't seem to care about the UK election and that's normal
Culture
Only in France? Naked comedian stuns French culture minister
Migrant camps spring up in the heart of Paris
International
France bags another fighter jet deal but should Paris thank the US?
Society
French elevator protocol: Greeting, flirting and yes, even sex
Travel
Getting from CDG airport to Paris by road should now be a lot quicker
Politics
Why all the dodgy ties? A French view of the UK general election
France may produce the most wine, but who drinks the most?
National
Why do the French have such a sorry record for recycling?
7Up row could see French language enforced on all flights to Canada
Culture
Take a peek inside France's newest, but oldest tourist attraction
National
How to disguise the fact you are clearly not French
France desperately hunts for church terror plot accomplices
WARNING - When in France use first names with caution
Can France really protect 4,500 churches around the country?
So what does the world's oldest bubbly taste like?
British expats left in lurch by NHS clampdown
Tossing cigarette butts in Paris to prompt €68 fines
Culture
Cannes Film Festival reveals jury
Flamanville: France's nuclear 'calamity' that has the UK worried
Features
Forget the Mona Lisa, here are the weirdest objects you can see in Paris
For many Britons 'Waterloo' is just an Abba song or a train station
IN PICTURES: See the French ship 'Hermione' set sail again for the US
Opinion
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

?>