“Above all, we want our young people to feel valued”


They are teachers, lawyers, artists, farmers… After two years of a pandemic, a new reform or an economic crisis, how has their professional daily life changed? How would these women and men like to practice their profession today? A few weeks before the presidential election, Obs gives them the floor.

Referring to the anaphora used by François Hollande between the two rounds of the 2012 elections, in this series of articles we want to ask candidates about the reality of these professions.

Summer camps; youth camps at Moselle Est, on a coal mine; active participation in integration associations, etc. “A long time ago”For as long as he can remember, Sebastien Duclos has been associated with youth. It was during one of these experiences that he discovered the profession of a specialized teacher. First through sports, then through training. Today, a 50-year-old man cannot imagine himself anywhere else: after thirty years in the profession, he has been working for almost twenty years in the same association – the Mosel Committee for the Protection of Children, Adolescents and Adults (CMSEA).

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Sebastien Duclos talks about the daily life of teenagers or young people. “from 11 to 21 years old” with integration difficulties. Through recreational and physical activities such as theater, sports or the computer, it allows them to express themselves, become independent and regain their self-confidence.

Contacts with 400 young people

A specialized teacher is first and foremost a job “the street” : “it’s about being present in places where teenagers live and gather”he explains eloquently and passionately. His voice is warm, we can easily imagine him trying to contact ” young people “as he calls them. Whether in sensitive areas or in the city center of Metz where he works, Sebastien Duclos finds himself in the field, especially in the late morning and late afternoon, after graduation from school, college and high school.

“We notice them, we make sure that they also notice and identify us. Then, as soon as the approach phase begins, we discuss and perhaps offer them support. » CMSEA works with about fifty teenagers. But Sebastian Duclos and his colleagues have contacts with about 400 young people in the agglomeration.

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First to create a connection, and then establish a trusting relationship – this is the essence of his work. Then it’s about giving body and life to projects and “Teaching teenagers to be good citizens”. Sports, theatre, performances, writing workshops, filmmaking, recording a piece of music or a video, mechanical workshops… “We offer all kinds of projects and strive, above all, to ensure that our young people feel valued and in their place” thanks to collective or individual support. Then, to help them find training, an apprenticeship contract or a place at a second chance school. In short, let them “fit into a society that too often rejects them”.

“This is the most interesting thing. » Because then there are inevitable administrative troubles, meetings, contacts with public education, community centers, the judicial service, and families. “The more forbidding side of the job. But it’s just as important.”recognized as fifty years old.

“A reference that doesn’t move”

Sebastien Duclos loves his job [s]young” and the help he can give them. He likes to communicate with them and their view of the world: “These teenagers are amazing. They have a critical eye, a different approach to situations. » When confronted with young people seeking guidance, he comes across as helpful. Sometimes his speech is not heard by the teenagers with whom he works. Sometimes they get angry at him, at adults, at society as a whole. But year after year, Sebastien Duclos remains there. In a world where there are sometimes not enough adults, special educators represent “link that doesn’t move”.

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However, the difficulty is not enough. Moral fatigue, wage stagnation, funding difficulties… “In the long run, it can be difficult”sums up Sebastian Duclos. The health crisis has also taken its toll. Till “Without street work, we will not achieve anything”consecutive incarcerations made it difficult to contact new teenagers and create projects.

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“The obligatory feeling of school has also received a slap in the face: for fragile children, these downtimes could be devastating. » Not to mention the increase in domestic violence: according to the Ministry of the Interior, the police and gendarmerie services recorded a 9% increase in such situations during 2020.

“Debate? What are the debates? »

Finally, questions about their work as elected officials “often”regrets the fifty-year-old. “It is enough for a few young people to show themselves in an unrepublican way to draw general conclusions…” According to him, with the approaching presidential elections, promises and achievements are not up to par. Housing renovation, quality of life in neighborhoods, drug trafficking, discrimination, access to employment, “Everything is approached through the prism of money and the police. This conversation is exhausting.

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What exactly does he think of the state of the debate in this presidential campaign? Long silence at the end of the line. Sebastien Duclos finally sighs: “Debate? What are the debates? » Everything is said. Literally two weeks before the presidential elections, he regrets that the social issue is not being resolved in any way. “It’s all about immigration, great replacement, all this shit. It’s not very nice…”

He who every day faces the social misfortune of youth in working-class neighborhoods discredits politics and its actors. “I would like to hear that youth and education are important. I would like to talk about the distribution of housing: people similar to each other should not live in the same area. I wish there was real reflection on free public transport. I would like the issue of ecology to become important … ” The list of complaints is growing. But if only one had to be left, Sebastien Duclos would like his young people to be “are considered full citizens.”

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