En Garde

France is mobilising 10,000 troops to boost security after last week’s deadly attacks, and will send thousands of police to protect Jewish schools.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said troops would be in place from Tuesday evening in sensitive areas.

It is the first time troops have been deployed within France on such a scale…

In Paris on Monday, President Francois Hollande ordered the deployment of troops during a crisis meeting with top officials.

Mr Le Drian said the deployment, the first of its kind, was needed because “threats remain present”.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve announced that nearly 5,000 members of the security forces would be sent to protect France’s 717 Jewish schools, and that troops would be sent as reinforcements over the next two days.

En garde, indeed.

The effect of Hollande’s action can already be felt right here in Kansas City.

Académie Lafayette, Kansas City’s premier French language immersion charter school, annually sends most of its sixth grade class 1 to France in May. The AL students live with a French student (and family) for little more than a week, attend that student’s school and learn first-hand the daily life and culture of their counterparts. Then all the AL students meet back up in Paris for a short week of sightseeing. This nearly two-week stay solidifies, expands and improves the students’ command of the French language, as well as broadens their awareness of the world in a way no classroom instruction ever could. 2

Roughly 60 AL students were planning to make the sojourn this year.

Our Friend informs us that the attack on Charlie Hebdo last week had already caused more than a few parents to cancel flying their progeny into a possible free-fire zone. Hollande’s move, proof in some parents’ eyes that Paris is unsafe, will undoubtedly further shrink the numbers of AL scholars making this year’s trip.

And should the terrorists continue to dim The City of Light , should even one American tourist be injured or killed, Our Friend imagines the number of AL students making the trip this year to be in the single digits, if that.

More proof, if any were necessary, that the world is a small place, and getting smaller every day.

En Garde

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Though parents are given to understand this is part of the school’s curriculum when they first enroll their kindergartener, not all children will make the trip: parental concerns, work schedules, time, money…
  2. The following year the French students (many of them) make the trip over to the states to be hosted by those same students’ families. It’s a good system, Our Friend says, though one does wonder at the inequity of the AL kids getting to experience Paris while the luckless French kids have to make do with Kansas City, Paris of the Plains or no. Imagine the French kids’ disappointment, told their going to the City of Fountains, when they see the absolute horror show Kansas City has allowed our fountains to become.

2 thoughts on “En Garde”

  1. My kid wants to go to Israel this year and I am not going to object (as long as it’s free). These people’s kids have higher probability of getting shot in Westport.
    Also I imagine visiting US is fun for the French even if it’s KC. A week here is pretty tolerable.

    1. While I agree with your probability assessment, it’s also easy to understand the parents’ thinking: I imagine some of them were skittish at the idea of sending their 11/12 years olds over to the Continent to begin with; adults claiming Je suis Charlie is one thing, throwing young children in (possible) harm’s way is another.

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