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October 19, 2020, 05.01 PM

BOBIGNY, – A French teacher identified as Samuel Paty became the victim of a beheading by an 18-year-old that has left France in shock.

Samuel Paty, 47, was well-liked and known as a committed teacher who enjoyed getting his students to debate issues such as freedom of speech.

The gruesome act of the French teacher’s beheading happened in a Paris Suburb on Friday.

As part of a course in civics and morals this month, Samuel Paty showed the class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed — the most hot-button issue in France since the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine that published the images was attacked in 2015.

Read also: Charlie Hebdo Reprints Prophet Mohammed Cartoons as Trial Begins

But the French history and geography teacher’s lesson set off a new controversy that culminated in a crime that shook France, a country traumatized by a wave of Islamist violence and questioning its modern identity.

The father of a pupil at the school was so outraged by the lesson that he demanded in a meeting with the school leadership that the teacher be dismissed and began a campaign on social media calling for him to go.

The man published the French teacher's name and the school's address on social media, insisting it was time to "say stop".

He also went with his daughter to the police to file a complaint against Paty.

According to Anti-Terror Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, initial evidence suggests that the perpetrator loitered outside the school on Friday afternoon and asked pupils where he could find the victim.

Read also: Al-Qaeda Threatens Charlie Hebdo of Repeat 2015 Massacre

Paty was attacked as he headed home from the school in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, a usually quiet northwestern suburb about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from central Paris.

The father behind the videos and campaign to have the teacher dismissed is one of nine people detained over Friday's beheading attack.

'Good listener'

Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer condemned the video posted by the father, saying it was "totally scandalous" and made with the aim of "finishing up with something that is probably violent".


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