Why Are French Schools Allowing Students To Smoke On Grounds?

Choosing between the lesser of two evils, French schools might be landing themselves in hot water for allowing students to smoke on the grounds.

French schools now allow students to smoke on school premises, in order to protect them from falling prey to terror activities in the streets.

A union composed of school administrators initiated the idea only a few days after the horrifying Paris attacks took place in November. However, the plan was turned down by the Ministry of Health.

Although just last week the SNPDEN union revisited the idea and refreshed the call, some schools already proceeded with the idea without approval and put the plan into action.

Approximately one-third of French youngsters smoke, as suggested by official statistics, which means a significant number of students will be seen smoking on school grounds, possibly even passively influencing others to do the same.

"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.

Richard, however, agrees with the health risks posed by smoking, yet claims that this measure is important in order to save students from bigger risks of getting involved in terror activities on the streets.

Although the union's concerns are absolutely justified, and the idea about allowing smoking on campus has been put forward out of sheer concern for the students’ safety, health hazards cannot be ignored here.

Peer pressure is a common factor in high schools and allowing on-campus smoking just means providing way for more and more young people to indulge in the addiction.

Hopefully, officials handling the matter will take a decision that is most beneficial to the students and maybe come up with an alternative solution with no risks attached.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters

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