A PHOTO of primary school children posted on the Facebook page of the Education Ministry has sparked an outburst of comments on the social networking site – because only two of the eight children pictured are white.
The photo, at www.facebook.com/EducationFrance has been shared 815 times and drew more than 1,000 comments – but with many comments being deleted as “racist”.
Many others denounced the racist nature of some of the posts, with some saying they hoped the ministry would pursue those involved and others saying that the posters should “return to school to learn the values of solidarity and a cultural mix”.
Posted last Monday, the photo shows a group of maternelle children sitting on a bench but drew overtly racist comments and others such as “What were you expecting when you published photos of black children?”
Other posters saw the photo – by Sophie Brändström for the Ministère chargé de l'Éducation Nationale – as a “provocation” and asked if it was normal to have a photo “with just one white child in France?”
Education Ministry sources could not give an exact number of posts that had been deleted but said that those that had been “hurtful” and “racist” were removed as being contrary to the page’s charter of use.
The ministry said that the Facebook page was an “area for constructive dialoque on school today and not a political statement”.
Photo : Sophie Brändström / PictureTank / Ministère chargé de l'Éducation Nationale