Paris

French Students Encouraged to Smoke At School Because of Terrorism

Civil liberties increasingly threatened under state of emergency that's been extended for 6 months.

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France has been curbing civil liberties

Je Suis Peur
Dreamstime/rrodrickbeiler

left and right since the ISIS-inspired atrocities that killed 130 people last November. However, there's one freedom that's been expanded in the name of guarding against terrorism: the right of high school-aged kids to smoke cigarettes on school grounds.

In a country where one-third of teenagers are regular smokers, the risk of an attack on a group of students amassed on the street was deemed greater than the well-documented dangers of tobacco usage. The BBC reports that the union of school administrators first suggested a change in the policy banning smoking at schools immediately after the attacks, but was flatly rebuffed by the health ministry. 

Regardless, schools have begun allowing smoking on their property even without permission from the national government, which Deputy Secretary General Michel Richard of the administrators union justified by saying, "Students massing on the street constitutes a very high risk, one that is certainly greater than that posed by the consumption of tobacco." 

Factually, almost anyone on the planet is far more likely to die from cancer (or a car crash, falling in the bathtub, being crushed by a television set, etc.) than in a terrorist attack, but given the sustained assault on civil liberties in France since last November's attacks (which are overwhelmingly supported by the French public), any expansion of personal liberty can be seen in a somewhat positive light. 

France has been under a state of emergency since almost immediately after the attacks, and the mandated 12-day limit on such an order was quickly extended by 100 days. Before that deadline could be reached, France's parliament agreed to let the government's broad expansion of investigative and prosecutorial powers run all the way to the end of May.

During the state of emergency, protesters have been locked up before they've even left the house, private computers have been seized, thousands of businesses and homes have been raided without warrants, mosques and websites have been shut down, and only a handful of terrorism-related charges have been filed as a result of such heavy-handed measures.

The New York Times wrote that of the 28 terror-related charges filed, 23 were merely "for the crime of 'apologizing for terrorism,' or 'praising terrorism.'" The Times correctly notes that , "In many cases, such an act in the United States would be protected as free speech."

There have also been calls to ban the encrypted Tor Browser and free public wifi, and last week a bill passed France's lower house of Parliament which would impose stiff fines and potential jail time on private tech companies who refuse to share encrypted data with the government as part of terrorism-related investigations. 

Now France may see significant changes to its constitution, including a provision to "strip convicted terrorists of their French nationality and enshrine the state of emergency powers in the constitution," The Guardian reports.

Given the popular support for allowing the governement to grant itself sweeping powers that largely eliminate due process, it will be interesting to see if France allows its state of emergency to finally expire, after half a calendar year, this coming May.

France24 explains the police's role in the state of emergency in the video below:

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  1. So the French are surrendering to teenage smokers?

    1. You know who else the French surrendered to…

      1. Jerry Lewis?

      2. Otto von Bismarck?

      3. Anybody nearby?

      4. Terror?

      5. Wellington?

  2. Why not encourage the kids to smoke pork butts instead? Fumigate the schools with a nice BBQ haze and that’ll keep the terrorists away, won’t it?

  3. I call them freedom fries.

  4. “The New York Times wrote that of the 28 terror-related charges filed, 23 were merely “for the crime of ‘apologizing for terrorism,’ or ‘praising terrorism.'” The Times correctly notes that , “In many cases, such an act in the United States would be protected as free speech.””

    The French government interrogated an 8 year old for several hours because he said something positive about the Charlie Hebdo shooters.

    That’s a great way to prevent radicalization – harass Muslim kids.

  5. An atramentous development a feeble baby could have fucking envisaged.

    Governmental reactions to terrorism mimic to some degree the general governing attitude (albeit, without the incessant bloodshed wrought on the deviant) that operates within terror centers which is an obtuse optic.

  6. While smoking is bad, I am deriving a certain sort of sick pleasure from seeing the public health nannies shown their place.

  7. This must be the first case where fear of terrorism has led to an increase in liberty.

    1. So French kids are such pussies that they need official permission to smoke a cigarette in school? Back when I was in high school they told us we couldn’t smoke in school and we just went into the bathroom and did it anyway.

      1. +1 So is that a smoked or liquid lunch?

      2. Smoke detectors have become more sensitive since then. If you were smoking in the bathroom, I’m going to guess that they wouldn’t let you leave school grounds to smoke.

      3. When my brother was in hs, there was a student smoking lounge. The school admin closed it the year before I started hs. You couldnt smoke in the school, but nobody cared if you smoked in the parking lot, shop class, etc.

        1. They banned smoking anywhere on the grounds of my high school when I graduated in 1990. We were the last “smoking class.” My art teacher would smoke in his office, and teachers could smoke in their section of the cafeteria, but students were not allowed to. Now smoking is banned just about everywhere indoors and out in the town (this is a prissy little Boston suburb).

          1. Same here. We lost our soul.

            And I didn’t/don’t smoke!

            1. I quite smoking in 2009, but every new bullshit restriction I hear about makes me want to light up again.

    2. Terrorism causes teenage smoking, who knew? I thought it was Joe Camel and Hollywood…

  8. The New York Times wrote that of the 28 terror-related charges filed, 23 were merely “for the crime of ‘apologizing for terrorism,’ or ‘praising terrorism.'” The Times correctly notes that , “In many cases, such an act in the United States would be protected as free speech.”

    Praise Terrorism! See in the US this speech is protect-

  9. I stopped smoking because I was tired of having this type of woman desire me.

    1. Yeah, that’s rough.

    2. It’s a well known fact that chicks who smoke, put out.

      1. Cigarettes are tiny symbolic penises.

      2. To quote an old boss, “If she smokes, you know she’ll put something else in her mouth…”

    3. blonde model smoking sexy all white 120’s

      “Yeah, I’m into chicks smoking… but not them cork-tipped regulars. Gotta be those all white 120s.”

      heh. That seems pretty specific.

  10. “Regardelss, schools have begun allowing smoking on their property even without permission from the national government,”

    ANARCHY!
    (and missing spell-check)

  11. almost anyone on the planet is far more likely to die from cancer

    But not so fast.

  12. “enshrine the state of emergency powers in the constitution”

    What does that even mean?

    1. Shut up prole!

    2. It means they’re going to take the current police state and make it the new normal instead of a state of emergency.

      1. That’s what I thought.

        But don’t *sauces* serve as the French state religion?

        1. +1 de Gaulle quote.

          Or was it about cheeses?

          1. “Or was it about cheeses?”

            I think that one was about
            ‘How can anyone govern a country that makes 138 different cheeses?’

  13. What France needs to do is import more Muslim migrants. No migration ever has negative consequences, whatsoever. Never. Ever.

    1. It’s hard to swallow your suggestion that there’s a unique danger from coconut-colored African migrants.

      1. coconut-colored African migrants.

        Where does the lime fit in?

        1. You put the lime in the coconut(-colored African migrants).

      2. Do you often find it hard to swallow suggestions that no one actually made?

        1. You certainly don’t seem to have a problem repeating claims that no one has made.

          1. You don’t think policy makers in Europe have been arguing for years in favor of increased levels of Muslim immigration? You don’t think the socialists over there have been making moral arguments in favor of welfare for migrants?

            1. I don’t think anyone anywhere has ever made the claim that no migration ever has negative consequences, whatsoever.

              1. Well, Cytotoxic has, but he’s retarded, so take that as you will.

              2. I don’t think anyone anywhere

                Well H&R regulars should know that’s not true, just in our own midst. And the policy makers and socialist types who shout down any opposition to subsidized third world migration as racist Nazis, they’ve certainly made the case that there is no group, no demographic or any subset of any group of people that should not be imported and qualify for welfare bennies.

                1. Keep practicing with those strawmen dude, and one day you’ll be ready to have a grownup conversation with a real person.

    2. I think they mostly import themselves.

      And why do people assume that the pro-immigration arguments are best represented by Cytotoxic (who as far as I can tell is the only one making anything close to that statement about the consequences of immigration)?

      1. Angela Merkel getting on the airwaves telling Muslim migrants to come partake in the extorted wealth of the German tax payers is a teachable moment about migrants “importing themselves”.

        1. She’s in charge of France now too?

          But yeah , I see how you might call that “importing” migrants. And I agree that is fucking idiotic in all sorts of ways. I’m for immigration, but that doesn’t mean you have to encourage it and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to steal shit from your citizens and offer it up to anyone who wants to come and live on the dole.

          I don’t see any good answer to what Europe should do at this point (though what they are doing is definitely not good). It’s a shitty situation, not likely to end smoothly.

          1. She’s in charge of France now too?

            I said it was a teachable moment about the issue of whether or not government policy has anything to do with migration. But there’s definitely been a certain degree of spillover caused by the German government’s invitation. The political leaders in Austria and Hungary et cetera are certainly making the case that Merkel’s invitation is causing them problems in their own countries.

            And I agree that is fucking idiotic in all sorts of ways. I’m for immigration, but that doesn’t mean you have to encourage it and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to steal shit from your citizens and offer it up to anyone who wants to come and live on the dole.

            I don’t see any good answer to what Europe should do at this point (though what they are doing is definitely not good). It’s a shitty situation, not likely to end smoothly.

            I can’t disagree with any of that.

      2. And why do people assume that the pro-immigration arguments are best represented by Cytotoxic

        Because that’s the argument of the multiculturalists actively creating EU and national immigration policy in the EU. The watered down “moderate” version of the argument is a sales pitch to attract useful idiots. I’m actually very pro-immigration, but I don’t make assumptions about all cultures being equal nor all people holding hands in a state of euphoric togetheriness.

        1. “”the multiculturalists””

          jesus, why don’t you just say MULTICULTI like the rest of them

          have you never been outside your neighborhood? the US isn’t a monoculture

          1. have you never been outside your neighborhood? the US isn’t a monoculture

            Being against multiculturalism does not mean “yay monolithic culture with no difference or variability!”. In fact, recognizing fundamental differences in cultures and a willingness to admit that some are better than others is not something multiculturalists are willing to do.

            And I have no problem calling them a multicult. It is a cult.

            1. “Being against multiculturalism does not mean “yay monolithic culture with no difference or variability!”. “

              It seems to be worse = you seem to want to have government enact policy to protect your “better” culture from mixing with the yukky ones

              which only suggests your super-culture is actually limp-dicked and retarded if it doesn’t succeed and propagate itself in the wild

              1. you seem to want to have government enact policy to protect your “better” culture from mixing with the yukky ones

                I want the government to not enact policies that cultivate “yukky” ones. No welfare benefits, no social engineering, no forced association. Let society regulate it’s own level of immigration.

                which only suggests your super-culture is actually limp-dicked and retarded if it doesn’t succeed and propagate itself in the wild

                I’m glad you mention that. The situation, “the wild” i.e. a free society is not what we have. Cultures should be able to compete, borrow and meld together on an even playing field. Let the best norms and practices win. When you subsidize some at the expense of others, when you prohibit criticism of cultures, when you force people to associate and when you actively promote identity politics for electoral gain, that is not a free society, it’s just another government program that will cause irreparable harm and prevent a society from being the best it can be. When you instead get insular societies that ghettoize themselves, live on the welfare plantation, when you get high levels of social mistrust and conflict, when you get the indigenous population bending over backwards to socially signal their ubertolerance, it’s hardly evidence of your culture being limp dicked, it’s more appropriate to see that as evidence of government policy surgically removing your culture’s spine.

                1. fair enough.

                  i don’t care if you’ve got creepy reasons for wanting the right things. i agree that ‘cultures’ should be allowed to compete rather than be sheltered.

            2. recognizing fundamental differences in cultures and a willingness to admit that some are better than others

              Yet you refuse to acknowledge that some individuals within a given culture are better than others.

              And that’s exactly what you’re saying when you use the term Muslim instead of criminal or terrorist or muslim extremist. Instead of chastising those individuals who behave inappropriately, for matters of expediency, you chastise anyone, good or bad, belonging to the group to which they share commonality.

              Kinda the definition of bigotry, isn’t it?

              1. Yet you refuse to acknowledge that some individuals within a given culture are better than others

                Completely false.

                And that’s exactly what you’re saying when you use the term Muslim instead of criminal or terrorist or muslim extremist.

                Some Nazis weren’t bad people. But their badness was directly proportional to the level of orthodoxy of their Nazi views. It’s still fair to call Nazism bad and it’s still fair to generalize about what it means to be Nazi, despite that Oscar Schindler was basically a good dude.

                Islam is a regressive, thuggish and bigoted ideology. I quite reasonably have a low degree of tolerance for it and it’s practitioners. My tolerance for the former increases proportional to the degree to which their beliefs and actions are un-Islamic.

            3. Being against multiculturalism does not mean “yay monolithic culture with no difference or variability!”. In fact, recognizing fundamental differences in cultures and a willingness to admit that some are better than others is not something multiculturalists are willing to do.

              Root problem in Europe is whole generation leveraging public debt for bennies right now on their children’s future labor – children they apparently couldn’t bother to have.

              Western pseudo-socialism’s inevitable end is a society too apathetic to replace itself. A society with no children has no future, and no real input on what replaces it as it goes extinct. Changing cultures is an inescapable long-term effect, not a cause, of Western left-tardism.

              1. I don’t disagree in principle about the poisonous nature of socialism. But it’s worth noting that when you import goods, demand for the domestic production of those goods goes down. So while imports aren’t bad per se, artificially cheap (subsidized) imports will actually cause an unnaturally low level of domestic production of those goods.

    3. It wored out well for the Romans and the Ancient Brits huh?

      1. Libertarians are big on economics. History? Not so much.

      2. Doesn’t seem much like a parallel situation.

  14. Oh, where to start?

    First, I want to go on record as saying the threat of secondhand smoke is bullshit. People should be able to smoke anywhere they aren’t bothering others.

    As to the notion that the threat of being killed by a terrorist is greater than that of getting cancer from cigarettes? America may have turned into a mass of pants shitting cowardly pussies…

    …but at least we aren’t the French.

    1. *raises glass*

      ‘Merica.

      *shits pants*

      1. Never force a fart.

        1. The human anal sphincter is the smartest muscle in the body…

          You should always trust it.

          1. Mine needs remedial work, then.

    2. Meh. The threat is way, way, overblown, but not completely unreasonable; the solution, of course, is ventilation if you have to smoke in an enclosed area. And the smoke does cause one’s clothes to stink.

      1. At this point most businesses and restaurants are going to be non-smoking, laws or not. Before a smoking ban went into effect where I live, all the restaurants in town were already non-smoking. But why let the market work when you can force people to do stuff?

        It seems quite plausible that maybe working in a smoky enclosed place all day could be bad for your health. But catching a whiff outside isn’t hurting anything.

  15. What the French need is another Napoleon.Third times a charm.

    1. That’s what I keep telling them, but they just say I’m nuts.

      But I don’t see how that changes anything, the original Napoleon was nuts, too.

      1. “Don’t worry, Doctor, I’ll pay my psychiatric bill, or my name isn’t Napoleon Bonaparte!”

  16. So enlightened.

  17. The guy in the picture is probably the Frenchest-looking motherfucker i’ve ever seen. “Holding zees gun, on zees bridge, eet fills me wis such ennui.”

    1. Problem is that he’s holding a German gun. He should be holding one of those shitty FAMAS rifles, smoking a stinky Gauloises cigarette, and I assume he hasn’t showered this month. Just setting the scene properly.

      1. yes. and it needs to be black & white and have a cat

  18. My concern is that if these kids smoke too much, they won’t be able to run away fast enough when the next war starts – you know, like Frenchmen.

    1. Most will just collude with their invaders.

      1. Some will sit and cafes a bitch a lot. They’ll call themselves “the Resistance”.

        1. And years later stories will be written about their bravery. Every Frenchman will have claimed to belong.

  19. I know,they can give the northern part of France to the ‘immigrants’ and found a new state in the south.They can call it,um,Vichy.

  20. After reading stories like this from all over western europe and Britain, it seems to me that the mindset of your average european is still that of a serf.

    As retarded and pussy as America is, we are still nowhere near the pros.

    1. Their returning to their roots.Bring back the Habsburgs.

      1. Hey, at least the Hapsburgs tried to stop a Muslim invasion.

    2. The Democratic debates seem to be all about who will be the feudal lord to take care of the stupid peasants. Comments from progressives are just pleas for the Lord of the Manor to take care of them.

      1. I agree. There is a vast majority who want someone in charge to control their lives, and the lives around them. I just hope technology outpaces the the states ability to govern.

        I think it’s our only real hope. (outside of this libertarian movement I have heard so much about, of course)

    3. I think of it as subjects vs. citizens. Europeans have never been anything but subjects of their rulers or governments.

    4. that is their mindset. got into it recently with a dude from the UK who was on about how great the Queen was for their economy/identity. he could not even admit how their situation might look odd to an outsider.

  21. Oh well, France was (somewhat) nice while it lasted.

  22. “In many cases, such an act in the United States would be protected as free speech.”

    It’s adorable that they believe this.

    1. It’s still mostly true. Especially with the “in many cases” part. You might get hassled if you mouth off about terrorism being great or something. But people aren’t getting charged with terrorism offenses simply for speaking like that.

  23. Laissez-nous pleurons la mort de la R?publique

  24. So, an extreme terrorist threat is what it takes to allow people to enjoy a legal product outdoors within a reasonable fucking distance from a fucking school’s door? It takes a fucking terrorist threat to overcome the jackbooted dictates of anti-smoking & anti-vaping zealots; not, say, common decency and common fucking sense from the people?

    If Libertarians and freedom minded people are not willing to stand up strong against this organized push to steal the freedom to smoke or vape by increasingly extreme and outrageous degrees, then why should smokers and vapers stick their necks out for anyone else’s freedom?

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