The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The BBC reports:
Samuel Paty was beheaded in October after showing students cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
[A French schoolgirl], whose complaints sparked an online campaign against Paty, has now admitted that she was not in the class….
The 13-year-old girl, who has not been officially named, originally told her father that Paty had asked Muslim students to leave the classroom while he showed the cartoon during a class on free speech and blasphemy.
According to evidence given by the girl seen by French media she said: "I didn't see the cartoons, it was a girl in my class who showed me them."
"She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson," her lawyer, Mbeko Tabula, told AFP news agency….
As he had done in similar lessons on free speech in previous years, Paty warned students that he was about to show a depiction of Muhammad. He said anyone who thought they might be offended could close their eyes.
The girl had originally claimed the teacher had asked Muslim pupils to leave the room. When she objected she was suspended from school, she said. It now appears that the girl was suspended the day before the class was given, according to Le Parisien newspaper, because of repeated absence from school.
The girl explains in her leaked testimony that she made up the story so as not to disappoint her father….