French Students Protest Against Roma Expulsion
The violence broke out after crowds of students set up barricades outside their schools and marched through the capital, Paris.
On October 9, French authorities in the eastern town of Levier detained a 15-year-old Roma girl in front of other schoolchildren during a field trip.
But the incident did not come to light until this week after being highlighted by an NGO that campaigns against the expulsion of school-age children.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended the deportation of Leonarda Dibrani, her parents and five siblings aged between one and 17 as legal, but ordered officials to review the handling of the case.
The government says the Dibranis had been denied asylum and were no longer allowed to stay in France.
The move, however, drew strong criticism from within the ranks of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party, immigrant groups and others who blame the police for going too far in publicly embarrassing the teenager.
Under mounting pressure at home, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has promised the family could return to France if the girl’s rights were found to have been violated.