The events of the past two days in Paris have been truly horrifying. We know Beyond The Brochure readers are as devastated as we are at the loss of life and the attack on the freedom of speech. Here’s how Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) showed solidarity with France and helped students express their sympathy. –Christina
Los Angeles, CA – January 8, 2015 – While France is mourning the dead from a fatal act of terrorism on January 7, 2015, many countries are expressing sympathy and support. At Lycée International de Los Angeles (LILA) where almost half of the students on its five campuses are of French nationality, of French origins, or Francophiles, the emotional reaction has been acute.
“As a school whose origins are deeply anchored in the French language and culture, the LILA community stands in solidarity with France and her people in light of the awful attacks in Paris,” said Michael Maniska, LILA’s Head of School.
A minute of silence was observed on the school’s secondary campus in Burbank on the morning of the attack. On January 8th, the following day, a whole school assembly was held in order to pay respects to the victims of the tragedy. “It is essential for us to both educate and inform our students in order to provide them with the tools to enable them to understand such a tragic event,” explained Anneli Harvey, Director of the Burbank campus. The assembly, conducted in French, was led by LILA’s Secondary Academic Director,Emmanuel Bonin, who said, “We remain firm believers in France’s national motto of liberté, égalité, fraternité.” The somber students, many of whom had attended an homage to the victims in Los Feliz the night before, talked about the cartoonists, journalists and police officers who were killed in the ambush that marked France’s deadliest act of terrorism since 1961.
“Just as my father grew up with Charlie Hebdo, I was also doing the same,” said 11th grader Théo Grison of the satirical left-wing newspaper that became famous for its controversial and irreverent cartoons and reports skewering politics, culture, and religion. “Killing these journalists is like killing freedom of expression. We are mourning the people who died but we are also mourning the death of an essential freedom.”