Deconfinement in Tourcoing: The Photo of Children Sitting in a Square at School Causes Distress

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Photos of the Tourcoing school, posted on Twitter after deconfinement

DECONFINEMENT: Photo posted on Twitter by journalist shows how social distancing at school works, with students having to stay isolated

  • A photo, taken Tuesday in the schoolyard of a school in Tourcoing, in the North, quickly went viral on social networks.
  • We see 4-year-old children there, most of them seated on the ground inside a square limiting their play space during recess.
  • “It is a system consistent with the national protocol responsible for guaranteeing adequate reception conditions in the face of the Covid-19,” said the rectorate.

In the photo, we see children. Most are seated, each in their square on the floor. The image, taken Tuesday in the playground of a school in Tourcoing, in the North, quickly went viral on social networks. So much so that some Internet users wondered if it was real, as it seemed surreal.

Well yes. The photo is not a montage or fake news. They are indeed kindergarten children, aged around 4, who were starting their school year on Tuesday 12th May, after almost two months of confinement. Schools have had to adapt their operations to new health protocols linked to the coronavirus epidemic. This is the result. But a still image sometimes hides another reality.


A report organized with the town hall of Tourcoing

Originally, this photo was taken by BFMTV journalist Lionel Top during a report organized with the town hall of Tourcoing. He then published it on Twitter with two other pictures illustrating this start of the school year.

One of these photos also shows children who are asked to sit on a yellow cross drawn on the ground to wait from a distance. Not much less anxiety-provoking than the first, but perhaps less spectacular.

The author explains the context of his photo: “It’s about recreation. The classes take it in turns. The teacher accompanies the children, who must settle in one of the squares. It is a play space that marks the distance. The teacher asked them to jump together at the same time, for example. They are not punished and I did not have the impression that they did not live it badly. But it was sad to see. “

“For kindergartens, it is necessary to materialize the space”

A sadness shared by the teachers. “They are not convinced by this device,” says Lionel Top. The rectorate of Lille, for its part, defends the school’s initiative: “It is a system consistent with the national protocol responsible for guaranteeing suitable reception conditions in the face of the Covid-19. For kindergarten children, it is necessary to materialize the space in order to be able to explain how to keep their safety distances. “

One thing is certain, children will have to get used to staying in their squares at recess because this device is intended to last. “The protocol could evolve depending on the evolution of the health crisis, but we do not know if this will be the case by July”, recognizes the rectorate.

Deconfinement in Tourcoing: The Photo of Children Sitting in a Square at School Causes Distress 1

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