Education: Ralbol!

Jammed into giant halls, 273,000 French teen-agers sweated through the notorious 13-to 18-hr. tortures of oral and written baccalauréat exams last week. They seemed docile enough. After all, their careers, future incomes and their very status in French society were at stake. But below the surface their mood was likely to be very different. In the past five months, tens of thousands of lycee (secondary school) students have rebelled at hundreds of the 2,258 state-run schools, occupying buildings, staging hunger strikes and fighting police.

Their rallying cry was Ralbol!—a contraction of the slang expression...

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