French Schools End Summer Break – Heavy Police Presence

french 2More than 12 million French children went back to school under heightened security on Thursday after a summer vacation marked by further deadly attacks in a country that is one of the prime targets of Islamic State militants.

Police patrolled outside schools around the country as children, parents and teachers converged at entrance gates.

Eight months from elections, the government is under pressure to reassure a wary population of 65 million haunted by the July truck attack in Nice that killed 86 as well as the killing of a priest.

At the Bernard Palissy primary school in Joinville-le-Pont east of Paris, extra security measures included a blanket ban on parents entering school buildings and the presence of local police at opening time.

Olivier Dosne, mayor of Joinville-le-Pont, said a budget of 100,000 euros ($111,000) had been allocated to improve school security.

Some of that funded installation of one-way glass at school entrances to prevent outsiders peering in. More was being spent on evacuation and crisis-containment training for school staff in line with nationwide guidelines.

Another directive to school directors is that they arrange training in first-aid and life-saving drills for pupils and staff, as well as training in how to respond under attack – such as hiding and staying silent.

 

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