No harassment has been demonstrated “at this stage” in the investigation into the death of the 15-year-old teenager found Tuesday in the toilets of his high school, the causes of which remain unknown, declared Thursday April 11 the prosecutor of the Republic of Reims, François Schneider. “At this stage (…) no fact of harassment against him has been able to be demonstrated, contrary to what can be said very extensively on social networks and which is spreading among all students,” affirmed Mr. Schneider in press conference.

“There is currently no objective element to suggest that he wanted to make an attempt on his life, also contrary to what is spreading on social networks,” he added. But “the hypothesis is of course not excluded”.

According to his story, this young man in second grade at Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle high school asked to go to the toilet around 6:45 p.m. Not seeing him return, the person in charge of the boarding school went there. see and heard him coughing and vomiting. She ended up opening the toilet door and found him in cardio-respiratory arrest, according to the prosecutor.

The students were not heard, but the staff described, according to them, “a young man without incident who was calm and a good student” and “very well on April 9, before the tragedy”.

“He may have been the subject of some sporadic mockery, which cannot be described as harassment. In any case, this is absolutely not what emerges from the investigation,” insisted Mr. Schneider. The autopsy Thursday morning did not make it possible to determine the causes of death, but ruled out external intervention, he detailed, saying he was waiting for blood and pathological tests.

The prosecutor refused to comment on the “personal life” of the teenager, who “has no current link with his death”, alluding to possible discrimination linked to his sexual orientation reported by students.

The Minister of National Education, Nicole Belloubet, called on Wednesday on X for “light” to be shed “on this tragedy”.

“A huge weight.”

The management of the La Salle foundation, which manages Catholic establishments throughout France, said it was “appalled” by this death. She refused to comment on possible harassment, mentioned by three high school students to AFP journalists. The Reims public prosecutor stressed, for his part, that the context of the teenager’s death was “absolutely not clearly defined”.

According to an 18-year-old final year student, the young boy had been “discriminated against on the basis of his sexual orientation”, something he complained about to supervisors on several occasions, as well as to school life. “Being teased, insulted because of that, it was a huge burden,” said another student. He reports that the teenager had been changed rooms because “things were going badly at the boarding school”, with no improvement in the situation. A third, his roommate, assures that he suffered “mockery, insults behind his back”, and that the staff were “aware”.

He was “a young person who was researching” himself, “who was questioning himself, like many young people of his age,” explained Didier Tilly, the director of the school group to which the Saint-Jean-Baptiste high school depends. of the room.

A volunteer since the start of the September 2023 school year at Radio Jeunes Reims, an associative radio station based in the high school but independent of the establishment, he “came to our house to take a little freedom”, according to James Jouffroy, manager of the station. “Passionate about audiovisual”, he found in the radio “a way to free himself from his shyness”, adds the association manager, who always saw him smiling in the corridors of the high school, “always with friends, both boys and girls “.

A bouquet of white roses was left in front of the entrance to the establishment, which remained open on Wednesday. A psychological unit has been set up in agreement with the diocese.

Franck Leroy, president of the Grand-Est region, expressed on X his “emotion” in the face of a “upsetting drama”. The chief of staff of the rector of the Reims academy “went to the establishment to provide support,” declared the rectorate, without substantiating the suspicions of harassment.

School bullying was at the heart of the news in 2023, after a series of dramatic cases, including the suicide of Lindsay, 13, in May in Pas-de-Calais, and that of Nicolas, 15, in September in Yvelines.

The government reacted at the end of September 2023 by announcing the establishment of “empathy courses” from September, the confiscation of the phones of perpetrators of serious cyberharassment, and the “systematic” referral to the public prosecutor in the event of a report.