France

French PM Unveils Tough Measures Against Teen Violence Following Deadly Schoolboy Attack

France has announced stringent measures aimed at addressing the concerning trend of youth violence. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, speaking from Viry-Chatillon, the site of a recent fatal beating of a 15-year-old, outlined a plan to bolster authority and discipline in schools while holding parents and adolescents accountable for their actions.

 

Attal condemned what he termed as the “addiction of some of our adolescents to violence,” highlighting statistics indicating a significant rise in assault cases, drug trafficking, and armed robberies among teenagers. He also pointed to increased influences of Islamist ideology contributing to the issue.

 

A central component of the government’s response is the expansion of compulsory school attendance to all days of the week, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, for children of college age. Emphasizing the importance of education, Attal stated, “In the day, the place to be is at school, to work and to learn.”

 

Parents are urged to take on more responsibility, with disruptive behavior potentially impacting their children’s final grades. The government advocates for a return to traditional values of accountability, with Attal stating, “You break something — you repair it. You make a mess – you clear it up. And if you disobey – we teach you respect.”

 

In a move to address legal loopholes, Attal proposed treating 16-year-olds in exceptional cases as adults in court proceedings, denying them special treatment based on minority status. This proposal challenges the conventional age of majority, aligning with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

 

The government’s response comes amidst escalating political tensions, with the far-right National Rally (RN) gaining significant traction ahead of the June 9 elections. The RN has criticized the government, particularly on security issues, and is polling well ahead of the ruling party.

 

President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Attal face mounting pressure to reverse the current political tide, with polls indicating a potential electoral setback that could overshadow the remainder of Macron’s second mandate until 2027. 

 

Recent polling data by Ifop-Fiducial shows the RN commanding 32.5 percent support, while the government coalition lags far behind at 18 percent.

 

As France grapples with the aftermath of tragic incidents and rising concerns over adolescent violence, the government’s measures signal a concerted effort to restore order and security, both within schools and across the broader societal landscape. 

 

However, the effectiveness of these measures and their impact on the upcoming elections remains to be seen.

 

This article was created using automation and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

Gabriel Peters

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