Correction, Dec. 14, 11:21 a.m. EST: French prosecutors discovered Monday afternoon local time that a Paris-area preschool teacher who claimed to have been stabbed by an Islamic militant had fabricated the story. The male teacher, 45, who has not yet been named by French police, had lied about the entire incident. He is now recovering from minor cuts to his face and throat in a local hospital.
French authorities announced they would step up security at schools after a preschool teacher was stabbed Monday, the Associated Press reported. The assailant allegedly shouted allegiance to the terror organization known as the Islamic State group during the assault, and French authorities were investigating.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Monday that she would work with the Minister of the Interior to heighten security at schools and prevent future attacks from happening. "It's an act of great gravity," she said, as reported by the Associated Press, adding, "It is inadmissible."
The male attacker reportedly entered the Jean Perrin preschool in Aubervilliers, north of Paris, before the children had arrived and stabbed the teacher using box-cutters and a pair of scissors. “This is for Daesh. This is a warning.” the attacker shouted, according to the Local. Daesh is another term for ISIS. The attacker fled, and local authorities began conducting searches for his whereabouts. The condition of the teacher was not immediately known.
Security had already been increased in the nation, including ramped up police patrols, particularly at schools, following a spate of terror attacks in Paris Nov. 13 that left 130 dead and hundreds more wounded. The massacre in Paris took place at bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium across the city, and ISIS claimed responsibility for the coordinated assault.
The attack at Jean Perrin nursery came less than two weeks after an article in ISIS' French language propaganda magazine, Dar al Islam, called on ISIS sympathizers to kill French teachers over the principle of "laicité," which is a strong dedication to secularism and the founding principle of the French schooling system, as well as French public life more broadly.
The Islamic militant group said laicité was an enemy of Islam, and called on supporters to kill teachers in particular. "France has charged its schools with teaching Republican values,” the magazine says, as cited by a Dec. 3 report in the Local, adding, “but these values are nothing but a web of lies and blasphemy.