Goodbye, madam professor
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Nathalie Coste has been teaching history and geography since 1993 at the Saint-Exupéry high school in Mantes-la-Jolie, in the Yvelines region. For “Liberation”, she rewinds the thread of her career, from Sciences-Po conventions, to history debates in class until the muscular arrest of 150 students from her high school.
Nathalie Coste improvised as press officer, in December 2018, to evoke a moment out of time. That year, the photo of 151 high school students educated in Mantes-la-Jolie toured France, then the world: surrounded by police officers, kneeling, hands on their heads after student mobilizations stretched to the extreme – one would have thought prisoners of war in France. On site, a scenario emerges, supported by Nathalie Coste, professor of history and geography and witness to the event: the perpetrators of violence have evaporated (they are used to it), leaving the others to get caught and picked up for them in an unworthy staging. She says, today: “This is the most difficult moment of my career. I was born here, maybe I’m a little more used to certain social violence. Young teachers have collapsed. They’re raining …