French mayor proposes arming teachers with tear gas as school violence rises

Referring to the terrorist attack in October last year, where teacher Dominique Bernard lost his life, le Dissès argued that such a tragedy might have been averted if teachers were adequately armed. He maintained that being equipped in such a manner could have quickly resolved the situation.

French mayor proposes arming teachers with tear gas as school violence rises
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The mayor of Marignane in France, Éric le Dissès, has suggested that primary school teachers should carry tear gas grenades as a means of self-defense against the rising incidents of violence in French schools.

In a letter sent to the town's primary school teachers, with a copy forwarded to the National Education inspector, Le Dissès expressed concern over the inadequate police presence to safeguard educators. He proposed that teachers should be equipped with tear gas grenades and wear alarm devices like necklaces or bracelets. These measures, he believes, could either help neutralize a threatening situation or quickly signal others about an imminent danger, Remix News reported.

“(There are just) 180 police officers in an area which goes from Marignane to Vitrolles and Plan-de-Campagne, including 80 in fixed posts at the police station in Marignane, without looking at the staff on leave or off work. It’s ridiculous,” le Dissès wrote.

Referring to the terrorist attack in October last year, where teacher Dominique Bernard lost his life, le Dissès argued that such a tragedy might have been averted if teachers were adequately armed. He maintained that being equipped in such a manner could have quickly resolved the situation.

In a recent social media update on Tuesday, the mayor brought up an incident in his town where a teacher was assaulted by four students.

“Providing them with defense spray is the least we can do in the short term,” he wrote.

“One in two teachers have already asked me to be equipped with one,” le Dissès added in an interview with BFMTV.

Union representatives for teachers and the local police chief immediately rejected the suggestion. The police chief pointed out to the mayor that tear gas is "a category D weapon whose possession and transport without a legitimate reason is prohibited," and the penalty for this offense can include a fine of up to €15,000 ($16,345 USD) and up to one year in prison.

The mayor conceded to this viewpoint, agreeing that "teachers who wish to be equipped will have to complete a declaration and submit it to the Prefecture. We will see if the state services accept it or not."

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