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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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PARIS

Paris driver in blind man road rage video charged with assault

A Paris motorist who was filmed nearly driving over a blind man at a pedestrian crossing and then punching his brother will appear in court next month on charges of assault, prosecutors said on Friday.

Paris driver in blind man road rage video charged with assault
Screenshot: Twitter

The incident, which took place on Saturday in eastern Paris was captured by a passing cyclist on their camera.

The blind man, who was carrying a white cane, and a man accompanying him (identified by the French Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted as his brother) were crossing the street when the car in question drove through the pedestrian crossing, almost knocking the men over.

Angered by the driver's failure to stop at the crossing the blind man hit the car with his cane and his brother smacked the roof of the vehicle, the cyclist told BFM news channel.

The driver got out of his car and lunged at the blind man's brother, repeatedly punching and slapping him on the head. He also harangued the blind man.

A cyclist tried to intervene but it was a woman also travelling in the car who eventually succeeded in restraining the driver.

When a witness said he was going to call the police the couple got back into their car and drove off.

The video of the incident instantly went viral on social media, prompting an outraged reaction from the Federation of the Blind, which urged the brothers to file a complaint.

A few days later the police caught up with the driver and called him in for questioning.

The Paris prosecutor's office said Friday that he had been ordered to appear in court next month on charges of assault, attacking a vulnerable person and refusing to respect a pedestrian crossing.

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