The Paris Attacks and their Effects on Latin

By Lu Limanowski About two weeks ago on the evening of November 13th, multiple terrorist attacks took place across the cities of Paris and Saint-Denis in France. The attacks resulted in police stand-offs and hostages, ending with 130 dead and about 368 injuries. Several of the attackers were killed, and the rest were searched for and found by European authorities. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL for short) has taken responsibility for the attacks. This has been the deadliest attack on French soil since World War II, and since the Madrid train bombings of 2004, the deadliest attack by a terrorist group in the European Union. President Hollande of France has said that ISIL’s attack is a declaration of war, and he and the French government have declared a state of emergency for the next 3 months, banning any unnecessary transportation in and out of the country. As Latin students, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to live and be educated in a free community. However, it is necessary to be reminded of our country’s international relations and what’s going on in the world around us. This article isn’t to scare anyone; rather it is just to reevaluate our self-awareness in this world. Currently we have students doing a school year abroad, one of whom is Sofia Mendieta in Rennes, France. Although a couple hours away from Paris, she talked about its effect on the nation, and how even her politics class has ceased to continue studying their material and is focusing on what is going on in their country today. Sofia discussed her experience on the day of the attacks, mentioning how she almost went with a group of friends to Paris and would have stayed in a hotel that neighbored the concert hall that was attacked, but did not due to a last minute second thought. Sofia also mentioned how she thought Latin as a community could do better in improving a lack of self awareness in our community, and how much more we could be educated in world issues, like focusing more on the present rather than the past, or world relations. Since Sofia is participating in the School Year Abroad program, which is a private institution, they have decided her safety is in good hands and should continue to enjoy her time in Rennes; though they have taken the liberty on canceling student trips until the government is in check again. However, there is a risen controversy among eager Latin students on whether or not trips would be cancelled; the German exchange, the Paris band/chorus trip, and Project Weeks. Although these trips will not occur for another five months or so, Latin’s staff is keeping a close watch on the status of the areas students will be visiting. In an email to parents of band and chorus members, Mr. Teolis and Mr. Lea wrote that, “at this point, our plans remain the same. We will continue to communicate with our contacts in Paris, as well as monitor safety information provided by the U.S. Government—particularly as the date draws nearer.”  ISIL threats are to everyone everywhere, terrorism being based on the spread of fear, so the situation will continue to be monitored over the next five months. Overall, upcoming trips to and from Europe are advised to happen if necessary, as a war with radicals is creating a danger zone in Europe. For now, the best we can do is educate ourselves to be self aware in our community, for our safety, and for our education.]]>