The drama could have been avoided but it will haunt many people until the end of their lives. The facts took place on December 1, 2020, in a college in Haute-Savoie, in Bons-en-Chablais during a physical education and sports course. While he was exempt from sport because of a heart problem, the young 12-year-old Baptiste was still forced to run by his PE teacher. And the tragedy did not take long to arrive, as related by our colleagues from Parisian who were able to speak to the mother of the victim, Mélanie Jacques. “I received a call from the college. I immediately went there and I discovered, on the football field, Baptiste lying on the ground. He had purple lips, his eyes wide open. immediately understood that my son had already left”. After being transported to the hospital and operated on, Baptiste died the next day following his cardiac arrest.

Why did Baptiste find himself on the football field running with his comrades when he had suffered, since he was 3 years old, from hypertrophy of the myocardium which had earned him a certificate from the cardiologist exempting him of any form of exercise involving endurance effort? That’s what his parents are still trying to figure out, two years after their son’s death. “We still don’t know how this tragedy could have happened. We have no answers to our questions. We feel completely abandoned by National Education, by justice. We are alone. We suffer every day. We miss Baptiste a lot Our life is shattered,” they told Le Parisien.

A death to save lives

What they want is justice. Because even if the PE teacher who “progressively made” Baptiste despite his exemption was indicted for manslaughter by the manifestly deliberate violation of a particular obligation of prudence or security imposed by law or regulations, the problem still exists. “Baptiste’s death is due to a whole chain of responsibility within the college management. Because everyone was aware of his state of health. There was a general dysfunction”. A dysfunction with dramatic consequences which could however have been avoided since Baptiste did indeed have a medical certificate which, unfortunately, did not save his life. So that this does not happen to other children in the same case, Mélanie Jacques has one objective: “to change the texts so that children exempt from PE lessons all year round are no longer obliged to attend these sports sessions, outside, in all weathers”. In addition to this change which could benefit many children, Baptiste’s parents have also agreed to donate his organs to save other lives.

"We suffer every day": despite being exempt from sport, their son dies in the middle of PE class

Illustration image © Pexels

Maria T.
Maria T.

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