Faced with calls for resignation, the Minister of Education, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, asked, Monday January 15, to close “the personal attacks chapter” regarding the education of her children in the private sector, in the hope to extinguish the first crisis of the Attal government.

First week, first case study. Barely promoted to national education, “AOC” is already on the defensive. Forced to justify the registration of her three sons at Stanislas, a prestigious private establishment in the beautiful districts of the capital. Choice motivated by “lots of hours not seriously replaced” in the public, she explained initially. Comments experienced as a provocation by the unions, to the point that the minister immediately beat her chest, saying she “regretted” having “could have hurt certain teachers”.

A wasted effort, because the second salvo did not take long: Sunday evening, the newspaper Libération undermined the minister’s defense, contradicted by several testimonies. These deny the alleged absence of teachers and underline the desire of Ms. Oudéa-Castéra to make the eldest of the siblings skip a class.

“A lie that disqualifies her.”

Revelations which the oppositions did not fail to seize upon to attack the minister. “It’s a lie that disqualifies her from continuing to hold this position,” said the “rebellious” Manuel Bompard on Franceinfo, while the communist Fabien Roussel estimated on X that “it’s time to resign” because “the days pass and the lies pile up.”

Analysis shared on BFM-TV by environmentalist deputy Benjamin Lucas, for whom the minister “lied”. “She must leave”, in order to “send a signal of appeasement to the educational community, which is not doing well”, he said.

At the other end of the political spectrum, National Rally MP Julien Odoul also lashed out on LCI against these “ministers who happily lie, like Amélie Oudéa-Castéra”, judging that she is already “discredited” and “that she should leave.” His colleague Jean-Philippe Tanguy insisted on BFM-TV and RMC: “If the minister lied, I don’t see how she can continue her public action. »

His rare supporters struggle to hide their embarrassment

“I don’t want to go any further into the realm of personal life and privacy. There are attacks to which I tried to respond as sincerely as possible. We must close this chapter of personal attacks and personal life,” replied the minister, also responsible for youth and sports, after a visit to the site of the Olympic village of Saint-Denis (Seine- St Denis).

But the minister’s rare supporters struggled to hide their embarrassment, like the government spokesperson, Prisca Thevenot, who commented on France Inter: “I don’t know if she lied, I’m just saying that she explained why her son was educated privately. » Just like the leader of the Renaissance deputies, Sylvain Maillard, who judged on Sud Radio that Ms. Oudéa-Castéra “was very clear” in explaining “why she wanted to change” from public to private.

A stone in Emmanuel Macron’s shoe

It is in this context that she must begin meeting with the teaching unions, Monday at midday, to discuss the priorities of her ministry, including undoubtedly the subject of absenteeism and replacements. A contact already under threat of strikes announced for January 25 and February 1.

This controversy thwarts the plans of the executive, less than a week after a reshuffle supposed to give it new life embodied by Gabriel Attal. Especially since, as the former holder of the national education portfolio, he assured that he would be the “guarantor” of the “absolute priority” given to schools.

The affair is also a stone in the shoe of Emmanuel Macron, who considers that the subject “is part of the reserved domain of the president” and must specify Tuesday evening, during a press conference, how he intends to carry out the “rearmament” of the country, which could involve announcements in education.