• France's news in English

Media unites to condemn school shootings

Matthew Warren · 20 Mar 2012, 09:09

Published: 20 Mar 2012 09:09 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

TV, radio and print media were united in their condemnation of shootings which killed four people, including three children, at a school in Toulouse on Tuesday.

"France is in mourning" said left-leaning daily Libération.

The newspaper's cover included a list of the victims of the tragedy on Monday morning, as well as the three soldiers killed on March 11th and 15th, now believed to have been killed by the same man.

In its editorial, the newspaper said it was "dangerous to prejudge the motives of the killer."

"What link can we make between an anti-semitic crime in front of a Jewish school and the murder of French soldiers, of whom two were Muslim," it said.

Moving testimonies from eyewitnesses were included in most of the coverage.

Many also reported that the murderer was seen wearing a small camera around his neck. 

"Did he film himself?" asked France's biggest circulation newspaper, Ouest-France.

Many TV news channels and newspapers also speculated on the profile of the killer, interviewing criminal psychologists.

Daily newspaper Le Figaro quoted psychiatrist Roland Coutanceau, who said the killer was likely to be either "mentally ill with a paranoid character" or "part of a terrorist organisation."

Tributes were paid to the teacher who was killed with his two sons, Jonathan Sandler.

BFM TV reported that Sandler was a "warm man, dedicated to the teaching of his religion."

A report of a march in his honour in Bordeaux, where he was born, included tributes from church elders who knew him.

Sandler left a wife and a young daughter of 18 months.

An increase in the security level in the south west of the country also received wide coverage.

TV channel TF1 reported that the "scarlet" level is the highest of four security states that can be declared.

This is the first time the "scarlet" level has been applied since the creation of France's system of terror alerts, known as Vigipirate. 

It gives authorities widespread power to disrupt daily life and implement sweeping security measures, including stopping air travel and blocking access to tunnels.

With just 33 days to go until voting begins in the French presidential election, all candidates suspended the campaign, at least until Wednesday.

Both President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate François Hollande went to Toulouse to visit the school.

The campaign is not the only thing to be put on hold. 

Regional newspaper La Dépêche reported on Tuesday that the carnival in Toulouse, planned for this Wednesday, has been cancelled.

The carnival was due to be the first since 1988 and thousands of participants have been preparing for several months.

"In a context of mourning, this decision seemed to go without saying," said a carnival spokesman, Laurent Vildary.

Asked whether a new date has been fixed, Vildary said "we are still in shock over this drama. When the time comes, we will take the decision."


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available