CHS Community Responds to Devastating Paris Attacks


Photo by Jasmine Baten

Students wrote messages to people in Paris on a banner in the art hallway. Art teacher Paul Dermont placed the flag at the French embassy on Monday Nov. 16.

For the past couple of days, CHS students have been seeing red, white and blue. Following the news of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, Nov. 13, social media has been inundated with an outpouring of support for those affected through the trending #PrayForParis and the temporary profile picture featuring a French flag filter.

The Paris attacks were launched by eight ISIS members at six significant locations in France, including the Stade de France where the French president François Hollande was observing the friendly soccer match between France and Germany and a sold-out concert at the Bataclan. The game was interrupted by an explosion that occurred outside of the stadium, and gunmen opened fire on the innocent audience at the Bataclan.

According to a Nov. 15, CNN article, 129 were killed in the attacks and more than 350 are currently injured, with 99 in critical condition.

After its day of Unity Nov. 11, CHS students are once again banding together to promote peace and love amidst a time of darkness.

Ceramics teacher Paul Dermont displayed a banner of the French flag in the art hallway for students to share messages of support for France and anyone affected by the incident. He then took the banner to the French embassy.

“Over the weekend I was watching the news and people were leaving candles and loving messages,” Dermont said. “Since this is such a well-traveled area, I thought making a banner may have an impact.”
The Paris attacks happened the last day before a group of 14 French students visiting CHS as an exchange program were scheduled to return home.

“We [the French kids and their hosts] were all together eating our farewell dinner when we heard about the tragedy,” senior Maya Demby said. “It was really scary especially for some of the kids who had friends who were in or around Paris when it happened, but I think they were comforted a bit more because they were with their friends.”

The attacks are the center of discussion among all CHS students, and many students are expressing sympathy for the victims of Paris.

According to French Honor Society President Julie Thomasian, the FHS feels obligated to do something to acknowledge the Paris attacks at CHS. The students are connected to the French people, either by family connections or by similar culture, and are discussing possible ways to admire the French people’s unity after such an event.

While publicity has been focused around Paris, ISIS also launched similar attacks in Beirut and across the Middle East.

According to a Nov. 12 New York Times article ISIS was deemed responsible for the deaths of 43 people and the injuries of 200 Lebanese people.

Tragedies such as these attacks destroy a country’s feeling of safety, but can also unite its citizens. Signs of support, like lighting the Empire State Building in NYC as a French flag, show how compassionate the world can be after terrorist attacks try to tear a society apart.

“We all know France does not deserve this, and it is moments like this when we stand, ever more than before, in solidarity with France,” Thomasian said.