History and geography teacher Samuel Paty (47) was friendly in class and strict when needed. The motive of the always calm man: to teach students something about freedom. One of his classes eventually led to the death of the beloved teacher and father on a sidewalk in a Paris suburb Friday.
Paty taught about freedom of speech
Inconspicuous, quiet: that’s how Paty’s neighbors would describe the man. The father of a five-year-old son always said goodbye, his neighbor reminds us The Parisian. “I think he was a bit shy, and he looked younger than his age.”
Paty came into his own in front of the class. ‘Monsieur Paty’ was known for his lively lessons, in which he allowed students to debate, for example. “He really liked his job, he wanted to teach us things,” said a former student Huffington Post. Other students describe Paty as friendly, but “strict when necessary”.
Every day the man wore a shirt, his brown hair he wore short. He found relaxation after work on the tennis court, where he could be found several times a week, according to neighbors.
For several years he worked at the Bois d’Aulne school, where he taught courses on freedom of expression. It was during one of these classes that he showed a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
But not before he kills Muslim students, a father of one of them told the news agency Reuters. “Since showing it could be offensive to them, they were allowed to leave the classroom if they wanted to,” said the father. “He didn’t want to shock my son and others, out of respect he told them beforehand what was to come.”
Other students and parents crowded in front of the school also say that Paty wanted to create a conversation. “He cared about all his students,” another father says Le Figaro.
Nevertheless, there was one group who did not appreciate the fact that the print had been shown. The police were reported to have been reported and curses were expressed online. Also, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said Monday, a death curse turned out to have been pronounced on the man by an Islamist group called Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France (collective against Islamophobia in France).
It led to the unsuspecting teacher being attacked on his way home on Friday by an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent, who beheaded him and posted pictures of his deed online. Video footage shows how ripped-out police officers shoot the man after several warnings. Eleven suspects are now detained, including family members of the attacker.
While the police operations are still ongoing, everyone in Paty’s circle is still in shock. “I will mention your name as an example for anyone who wants to do this work,” said a former fellow student.
47-year-old Paty leaves behind a wife and a son. A memorial for the man is organized on 21 October.