Some French high schools are calling on the government to lift the smoking ban in order to keep them safe from terrorist attacks.
The teachers are basically scared that if the kids keep leaving the school premises to smoke they will become targets for extremists.
French school teachers’ union, SNPDEN, first asked for the ban five days after the November 13 terror attacks and last week they renewed their plea as the country is still in a state of emergency.
In its initial letter the union said:
During each recess, in more than 2,000 schools in France, dozens of youth or even hundreds at the largest establishments form static and compact groups in a predictable way for 15 to 20 minutes.
According to government statistics, around one-third of teens between the ages of 15 and 19 currently smoke.
Because of this, the health minister rejected the union’s plea and included a reminder that they are currently trying to cut the amount of smokers by 10% in the next three years. Teachers who don’t go along with this and allow their kids to puff between lessons risk facing a fine.
I’ve got to say, that has to be one of the most French ways to try and battle terrorism — it would be like if UK teachers called for kids to be allowed to drink White Lightening on the school field to stop them leaving to jack it from the local.
Also, surely the goal here is to keep kids safe from death — do they not know that smoking kills as well? Yes, over 100 people died in the Paris attacks and that was awful and ISIS need to be stopped. But cigarettes claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year, especially in France where the rate of cancer is 20% higher than in the UK. Both ISIS and smoking suck – they should be tackled together.