A number of high schools in Paris and its suburbs have responded to the November 13, 2015 terror attacks by encouraging students to smoke inside the school grounds.
“We’ve been able to smoke inside for a few weeks now,” an 18-year-old student at Lycée Voltaire, a high school on the Right Bank of the River Seine, told VICE News.
School officials have loosened enforcement of a nationwide rule against smoking in and around public buildings since the November attacks that massacred 130 people in an effort to keep students from puffing and loitering in little herds outside the schools.
“Before, there were a lot of small groups crowded together, and honestly, it was an easy target for an attack,” the 18-year-old student, named Anna, told VICE.
“It’s safer for us, after the attacks, and also it’s in an open area,” another student, Lucas, added, ” so it’s not like it’s polluting the entire school yard.”
The relaxed rules have the imprimatur of France’s government. Under a new national regulation, students in certain areas are now able to smoke in designated areas in schools.
The goal is “to avoid having students leave the high school between periods,” the updated regulation explains.
The newly-relaxed rule contradicts a 1991 blanket ban against smoking in public buildings.
The Ministry of Education has described the designated smoking areas in French high schools as “temporary.”
France’s education bureaucrats remain “very committed to the fight against addiction and smoking,” a government spokeswoman assured VICE.
About one third of all French high schoolers smoke cigarettes, according to statistics from France’s National Association for Alcohol and Addiction Prevention.
The Islamic State’s propaganda magazine, Dabiq, has encouraged ISIS adherents to murder French teachers on the theory that teachers are corrupting young French minds.
In recent weeks, several high schools and middle schools in the Paris area have been the targets of bomb hoaxes which have resulted in evacuations.
The United States has seen a large number of similar hoaxes. (RELATED: ISIS Terror Threat On Facebook Shuts Down ‘The Premier Military Boarding School In America’)