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Nice Attack Victim's Student Remembers A Favorite Teacher


The people of France are mourning their dead after the attack that killed 84 people in the city of Nice. One of the dead, Michael Pellegrini, was killed along with four family members while on vacation. He was an economics professor at a private school in Longwy.

LAURENCE HEDA: I'm very shocked about all this and I'm very sad also.

WERTHEIMER: Laurence Heda is 18 years old and was Mr. Pellegrini's student. Heda says she saw him only 20-odd days ago. It was finals time at school.

HEDA: It was when I passed my exams and he was so happy that everybody has nearly passed it. And he was really proud of us.

WERTHEIMER: She says that Mr. Pellegrini was one of her favorite teachers, kind, a lot of fun. She remembers a time when one of her friends was sick in the hospital and Mr. Pellegrini called the student on skype so the whole class could say hi and see how he was doing. She also remembers a gift the class gave him.

HEDA: He used to love football because at the end of the year, we left him a gift. And it was a T-shirt, a real T-shirt of the Euro 2016 of France with his name behind the T-shirt and the number 41 on the top because we were 41 students in his class.

WERTHEIMER: Heda says that she and her classmates have been talking and sharing thoughts with each other on Facebook and remembering their teacher.

HEDA: I will never forget him, and he was the best ever teacher I ever had before. And I am so powerless with all this and I really want to be thankful for everything he did for us, for the class and also for me.

WERTHEIMER: That's Laurence Heda, a student of Michael Pellegrini, who was killed, along with his mother and his grandparents in the Nice attack. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Corrected: July 16, 2016 at 12:00 AM EDT
In this story, our guest incorrectly said Michael Pellegrini's class gave him a T-shirt with the number 41, because he had 41 students in his class. In fact, the number on the T-shirt was 31, for 31 students.