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France's Macron Addresses Fears About Schools Reopening Next Week   


A photograph taken on May 5, 2020, shows a courtyard of the Louis Pasteur elementary school closed due to the spread of the COVID-19 in Palavas les Flots, near Montpellier, southern France.

French President Emmanuel Macron sought to ease the fears of parents, school districts and some 300 French cities Tuesday about his decision to reopen the nation’s schools next week.

France is scheduled to begin easing restrictions Monday designed to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Along with some businesses, French schools are scheduled to gradually reopen next week, as well.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks after a video-conference summit on vaccination at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 4, 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks after a video-conference summit on vaccination at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 4, 2020.

That decision has been greeted with apprehension by some parents, teachers and administrators. More than 300 French mayors sent a letter to Macron, urging him to delay the opening, saying the safety and sanitary conditions requirements set by the government could not be met in time.

The president, along with Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, attempted to address some of those fears Tuesday in a video conference with mayors and school administrators.

Speaking from a suburban Paris classroom, Macron said schools will open gradually, with pupils going back to school over the course of the week. He assured teachers and administrators they would not be placed in danger, nor would they work in unsafe conditions.

He said mayors, administrators and teachers will inform parents by this weekend how schools will re-open in their communities.

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