PARIS (Reuters) - French teachers are using the cartoon image of a weeping Eiffel Tower to help young children understand what happened in last Friday’s attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.
The image of a grieving, humanized Eiffel Tower holding hands with young children and gazing at a pool of blood appears in a special online edition of the ‘astrapi’ paper that explains how “men full of hate” carried out the attacks.
“What we know is that these were terrorists, people who use violence and terror to impose their ideas,” says the text of the online paper, which is aimed at young children.
“The first thing we feel is fear. To make sure that does not stay inside us, we have to talk about it.”
The online paper also includes comments from children.
“Can the terrorists come into our house?” asks 7-year-old Antoine. “Is it true that France is at war?” asks Julie, aged 8.
The education ministry has tweeted the cartoon featuring France’s most famous monument and included material from the online paper in a briefing given to teachers who spoke to children of the events when they returned to school on Monday.
Mon Quotidien, a paper aimed at older children, included a map of the Middle East showing the parts of Syria and Iraq now occupied by Islamic State.
France has a strong tradition of keeping religion out of state education, a policy criticized in some quarters for helping fuel mistrust and fear of its Muslim community, the largest in Europe.
France and Russia both staged air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria on Tuesday as Paris formally requested European Union assistance in its fight against the group behind Friday’s attacks. A manhunt is continuing for one of the eight attackers. The other seven died on Friday.
Reporting by Sybille de la Hamaide, Valerie Parent; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Gareth Jones