A high school math teacher set herself on fire in the middle of the schoolyard this morning in southern France, in what appears to be a flamboyant suicide attempt. She taught her morning class as usual, but then at the morning break walked into the center of the schoolyard, doused herself with gas, and set herself on fire, the AFP reports. She is currently in the hospital, but is expected to recover.
“Several people tried to put her out,” says one student witness. “She said, ‘No, leave me alone. I don’t need help. God told me to do this.’ The teachers put a blanket over her, her clothes had melted.” All pupils were sent home following the incident. The day before, one class had confronted the 44-year-old about her harsh teaching methods. Parents say she had refused to help struggling students, and some said she had suffered a nervous breakdown a year earlier.