Teachers at the primary and elementary school in Charente-Maritime have drafted in the support of a local policeman to help keep the noise down at lunch time.
The pupils, aged 3 to 11 were deemed to be too noisy in the canteen so the decision was taken to bring in the long arm of the law.
And apparently the impact on boisterous pupils at the school in Aigrefeuille-d’Aunis near La Rochelle, was immediate.
The policeman, who patrols the canteen in full uniform, whistle at the ready, has succeeded in quietening down the youngsters.
But concerns have been raised at the local council meeting.
“The children are scared,” one council member said, according to local newspaper Sud-Ouest.
But the local mayor is supportive of the idea of bringing in the policeman, who already patrols the schools gates in the morning and evening.
“He doesn’t scare the children who already know him,” said the mayor. “And since he is there the canteen, which was really too noisy before, is now calm.”
“The opposition protests against the fact he is in uniform but when a local policeman is on duty, he is uniform. If he’s not, then he’s not working.”
“His job is to be dressed as a policeman.”
But in order to appease those who believe a policeman’s place is not in a school canteen a compromise has been found over the uniform.
From now on the officer will just wear a pullover as well as the lower part of the uniform.
It’s not clear how long he will be employed to carry out his new task.
“Perhaps he won’t stay in the canteen all year, we will see how the situation evolves,” said the mayor. “But it’s going well and it’s reassuring to have a policeman there permanently.”