TESTIMONIALS. Blows with spatulas on the buttocks, caresses, insults… Students from the Vatel school denounce violence by teachers

For more than three weeks, around sixty students have refused to go to class at the famous hotel school in Paris, to denounce violence, sexual and moral harassment and homophobic remarks. They confided in franceinfo.

“The pastry chef punched me in the stomach and repeated to me several times ‘you’re a piece of shit, you’ll never achieve anything'”. Like all of his promotion in hotel management in the famous Parisian school Vatel, this student denounces violence. The facts described by these students are damning, numerous and repeated. They concern four teachers: the pastry chef, the room manager and two chefs.

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“I have friends who have had their hair pulled, I’ve also been told ‘I can go down in the basement with you'”says a student from Vatel, which claims to be the world’s leading hotel management education group, with 52 schools in 32 countries and a turnover of 90 million euros.

“Breaking the omerta” that has reigned for several years

In parallel with violence and moral and sexual harassment, this promotion also denounces homophobic remarks. “I got called ‘PD’ on several occasions, remembers a student. We are not talking about saying it just once but about ten times for five days a week“.
Some also say they often “recovered from freshman girls crying after lewd words whispered in their ears or spatula kicks to their buttocks”.

“All week, it’s been caresses on the back, on the arm, calling me ‘my beautiful, my darling'”

A student from the Vatel hotel school

at franceinfo

“I heard it in all classes, from first to fifth grade”regrets one of the students of the hotel school. These future cooks and heads of rooms testify anonymously because they pass their bachelor’s degree in more than a month and fear reprisals from the establishment. They now want “break the omerta” which, according to them, has reigned for several years in this prestigious and expensive school. “If we are doing this, it is to do justice to people who have suffered these things, but also for people to whom it could happen soon. It is to protect these people that we are doing it. “

“A support device” by September

These students add that these facts concern all promotions of the school. “Nobody reacted for fear of saying to themselves ‘we have invested in a school that is expensive and we are not going to say anything because we are too close to zero’, explains a student. And having zero in a school which, I recall, still costs 12,000 euros, it is not possible”.

For more than three weeks, the sixty students have been on strike, refusing to go to cooking class and deserting the application restaurant at the Vatel school. In the first of the three letters sent to management, they point to the fact that management was aware of certain problems without reacting. “This inaction is simply unacceptable.” they write.

“We are extremely disappointed to find that Vatel HQ had been aware of these issues for some time and did nothing to address them.”

The Vatel hotel school’s strike promotion

in a letter to their management

Because, at the start of the strike, Dov Sebban, the son of the general director of the school, said in a letter to the students that for the first time, in May 2022, he was “alert by students accusing two teachers of degrading words and gestures” and to have “take action against them”. They have since “not the subject of a new internal alert”.

The school management did not wish to answer questions from franceinfo. It simply indicates that a “alert system and management of possible psychosocial risks” will be “operational” in “September, (…) as part of this approach, a survey will be launched next week among students, teachers and Vatel schools in France”.

Students from the Vatel hotel school testify to violence and harassment – Report by Valentin Dunate


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