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French govt considering police in schools to tackle violence

PARIS (AP) — The French government said Friday it is considering plans to place police officers in schools in an effort to tackle violence following a string of incidents that prompted a debate over school security.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said after a meeting with the justice and education ministers that the government expects to present plans to officials next week.

“In the most difficult neighborhoods, the possibility of having law enforcement officers in schools, with the agreement of principals, is not excluded,” Castaner said.

The meeting was called after a video showing a student threatening his teacher with a fake gun went viral in France last week. The teenager was charged with aggravated violence.

French media reported that four other high school pupils have also been accused of threatening two teachers with fake guns earlier this month in a school in the port city of Le Havre.

Hundreds of teachers have since told their stories of bullying by students using the hashtag #PasDeVague (Don’t Make Waves) to highlight their lack of support.

Speaking alongside Castaner, education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said it is essential French schools teach students to “respect others.” He floated the idea of creating special schools for students with a violent track record, saying they could be supervised by staff with a military or police background in a “strict” environment.

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