Parents take teachers hostage in French school

A group of parents have a taken a school headmistress and several teachers hostage in the town of Berre l’Etang in the south of France. The parents want one of the teachers fired.

“We are very worried that the pupils are falling behind in school. We think our children are in danger. That’s why we have decided to hold the headmistress and a couple of teachers hostage. We want things to change,” said Christophe Planes, one of the parents, daily Le Figaro reports.

The fifteen adults occupying the school and holding several people hostage said they want the teacher in charge of their nine-year-old children to be fired.

The headmistress said relations with the teacher, who is in his first year of teaching, have been difficult. He is in charge of CM1 pupils (ages 9-10) in the Catholic school Notre-Dame de Caderot in Berre l’Etang.

The parents sid they are aware they risk legal action but insist their children have been “held hostage for several months”.

Local education authorities have agreed to transfer the teacher to another school on Wednesday. The parents however said they want a written document promising his transfer.

Police visited the school on Monday to assess the situation but did not intervene.


Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”