Far Out Friday: Kids now allowed to smoke at school…because of terrorism

by Robert Ballantyne05 Feb 2016

Gone are the days when school students had to hide behind a corner or slip outside the school gates to light up a cigarette. They can now smoke freely on school grounds.

In France, that is.

While this decision by French schools might seem inexplicable, it was made with the best interests of students in mind.

In light of the recent terrorist attack in Paris and the ongoing anxieties stemming from it, the schools defended their decision by saying students gathering in groups outside school to smoke posed a safety risk as they may be targets for terrorists.

France’s National Union of Management Staff of National Education (SNPDEN) said that while it was not attempting to minimise the dangers linked to smoking, the decision was “necessary in this particular context to protect against the biggest risks”.

“Students massing on the street constitutes a very high risk – one that is certainly greater than that posed by the consumption of tobacco,” SNPDEN deputy secretary, general, Michel Richard told France Info.

France remains under a state of emergency after November’s terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.

France's health ministry refused the union's initial request to allow smoking on school grounds, saying the state of emergency currently in force in France “did not affect rules about smoking.”

However, a certain number of schools have already adopted the measure without waiting for an official green light.


  • by Nick Campitelli 5/02/2016 1:08:51 PM

    One can clearly forsee the day that these students, as mature adults, sue the School or Education Department for contracting a smoking related disease such as lung cancer.

  • by Michael Hilkemeijer 5/02/2016 3:23:33 PM

    I question any school's policy that allows a student to smoke in its grounds. In a time, when schools are supposed to educate students on the benefits of being healthy, who cares if their parents allow this to occur! There most certainly will be a time when these students will sue the school for such negligence. Any principal or educational leader who approves such a policy should be 'sacked'. If a student wants to put their own health at risk and smoke, then they need to do it out of the school grounds and after school time. Then there is the risk of second-hand smoke drifting across the playground and into the classrooms from these misguided students. What is to happen to those students and teachers left standing in their pollution. Now I am confused.......what is the link between smoking and terrorism? There is definitely a problem in the education system there.