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the Grandes Ecoles note a strong “freedom of speech”

The recent opening of several judicial investigations for rape among students of large schools testifies to a “fundamental movement for the liberation of speech”, according to the conference of large schools (CGE), Saturday, which refutes the idea of an omerta.

“It is a fundamental movement for the liberation of speech that we observe with a fairly regular increase in the number of cases reported to us”, commented the president of the conference of the grandes écoles (CGE), Laurent Champaney, in line with the MeToo movement against violence against women.

Asked by AFP, Mr. Champaney, also director of the National School of Arts and Crafts, however said he was “surprised” by the number of investigations that the Evry prosecution announced on Friday to have opened. .

They target accusations of rape and assault between students of establishments on the Saclay campus (Essonne), such as the École Normale Supérieure, the Ecole Polytechnique, CentraleSupélec and the Institut d’Optique. In total, eight investigations are carried out.

The boss of the CGE has also taken issue with the idea of ​​an omerta aimed at protecting the reputation of the grandes écoles which train most of the future French elites.

“There is this belief especially in the student population but I do not know anyone who would hide facts like that for the reputation of the school,” said Mr. Champaney.

The president of the CGE, a powerful association which notably brings together 227 Grandes Ecoles, outlines two issues in the cases of sexual violence reported to the management of these establishments.

On the one hand, cases of consent on the background of excessive alcohol or drug consumption: “these situations put the victims in very delicate personal situations”.

On the other, the emergence of violence within young couples against a background of “violent” sexuality.

If several internal surveys have been launched within large schools with the key results showing a high prevalence of sexist and sexual assaults such as at CentraleSupélec, Polytechnique or AgroParisTech, the CGE has not embarked on an accounting at the level of all his members.

“We share good practices such as how to set up listening cells, awareness tools such as plays or serious games”, describes Mr. Champaney.

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