Fact Check-Video of student pulling firearm on teacher was taken in France in 2018, not in the United States

A video showing a student threatening a teacher with a fake gun originates from France in 2018, but it is being shared as if it were a real firearm alongside a link to sign a petition for school choice in the United States - a movement which allows for alternatives to U.S. public schools.

A tweet sharing the video said: “A student pulled a gun out on his teacher… Your children are NOT safe in the public school system. Parents should have the right to send their children to a school where their child is safe. Please support this petition fighting for school choice” with a link to the petition (here). More examples can be seen (here) and (here).

The petition, which says “No child should be trapped in a failing school or learning environment that doesn’t fit them or the needs of their family” and advocates for allowing families to choose schools for their children, can be seen (here).

However, the video being shared online does not show a real weapon and was not taken at a U.S. public school. Rather, it was taken on Oct. 18, 2018, at a high school in the Parisian suburb of Creteil, France.

A search for the video leads to multiple news reports at the time saying a 15-year-old student at Edouard-Branly High School was charged for pointing a fake weapon toward a teacher who marked him absent instead of present. The teacher filed a complaint with the police on Oct. 19, 2018 and the student turned himself in the same day (here), (here), (here).

The student was charged with aggravated violence on Oct. 21, 2018, according to news reports. A video of the interaction, which sparked widespread outrage on social media at the time, was aired on BFM TV, a news channel in France (here).

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted at the time that threatening a teacher was unacceptable (here).


Misleading. The video shows a student with a fake weapon and was taken in France in 2018, not in the United States.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).