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British teacher extradited by French court

A French court on Thursday ordered the extradition of a married British teacher who fled with a 15-year-old pupil and faces charges of kidnapping a minor.

British teacher extradited by French court
Photo: Sussex Police

The court in Bordeaux said 30-year-old Jeremy Forrest should be handed over to British authorities for running away with Megan Stammers.

"This is exactly the decision we were waiting for," said Forrest's French lawyer Daniel Lalanne.

French authorities now have three days to hand Forrest over to their British counterparts but his lawyer could not specify when he would be flown home.

Lalanne said the only charge his client could face in Britain was the kidnapping of a minor, specifically mentioned in an arrest warrant issued by Britain on September 25th.

French prosecutors said the minimum sentence for that offence was three years in Britain.

Forrest had on Tuesday agreed to be handed over to British authorities for questioning and his lawyer had said the teacher wanted the "full story to emerge".

Stammers was flown back to Britain on Saturday, a day after the pair were detained in the main shopping street of Bordeaux while on their way to a job interview.

The pair had boarded a cross-Channel ferry together on September 20th. 

Security camera pictures were released of them holding hands and walking arm in arm aboard the ferry from Dover to the northern French port of Calais.

It later emerged they had initially travelled to Paris where they abandoned Forrest's car before travelling on to Bordeaux.

Their parents had appealed for them to get in touch but played down fears that the schoolgirl could be in any danger from the maths teacher.

There was never any suggestion that Stammers was taken by Forrest against her will, suggesting the British authorities may find it difficult to pursue kidnapping charges against him.

Under French law, a 15-year-old is not considered a minor in sexual terms, unlike in Britain, where the age of consent is 16.

The teacher, who plays in a rock band under the stage name Jeremy Ayre and  has a wife aged 31, had hinted at a "moral dilemma" on his blog four months ago.

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TEACHING

Blind teacher in France told to supervise exams

A blind teacher in southern France was baffled to be called in to supervise students during a an exam. Despite her appeals that she wasn't est suited, her school forced her to do it.

Blind teacher in France told to supervise exams
The woman was told to supervise an exam, even though she can't see. Photo: AFP
Caroline Bouffard, a music teacher at the Jean Moulin high school in Alès, southern France, has extremely poor vision. 
 
So poor, in fact, that the 20-year teaching veteran always has an assistant with her during her classes. 
 
And even though Bouffard says it would be impossible for her to act as an exam supervisor due to this lack of vision, that's exactly what she was asked to do for the national diploma exams in her middle school, known as the “Brevet”.
 
“I tried to argue and say that I wouldn't be able to do it, but it just fell on deaf ears,” she told the Midi Libre newspaper.
 
She added that the vice principal said the move was made to ensure the school couldn't be taken to task for discrimination – a move that did little to impress Bouffard. 
 
“I'm not the kind of person who would sue. It's absurd,” she said. “I expect a little more compassion and humanity.”
 
A spokesperson for the school told the paper that Bouffard always carried out her teaching with another assistant teacher present, and that exam supervision responsibility was to be no different. 
 
Bouffard spent three shifts “supervising” the students, during which time her assistant and another teacher carried out the actual supervising. 
 
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