School attacks shed light on inequality (2)

08:08, May 06, 2010      

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Security measures

In the wake of a spate of attacks, school security has been beefed up across the country, with extra police and security staff patrolling around schools.

Schools were also asked to employ full-time security guards and install surveillance cameras.

In Beijing, security equipment, including cut-resistant gloves, steel defense forks and other items, were distributed to schools.

In Chongqing municipality, police have been authorized to shoot any suspect who attacks or threatens schoolchildren in or around schools.

Wang Shu, a teacher at the Nanping Experimental Kindergarten in Chongqing, told the Global Times that her school has enhanced security measures.

"I never thought these kinds of attacks on children could happen in Chongqing. But when I see that police officers are patrolling around the school when classes are over, I think the risk is imminent," Wang said. "A card-swiping device has been installed at the gate of the school.

Everyone who wants to enter the school has to swipe the card."
On Monday, Zhou Yongkang, a member of the standing committee of the political bu-reau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, told Xinhua that it is a "major political task" to ensure security at schools and kindergartens.

School security has already been a focal point in the month since Zheng Minsheng, a 42-year-old man, stabbed eight children to death and injured five in front of a school gate in Nanping on March 23. He claimed heartbreak in his reason for the attack.

Zheng, a former doctor, was executed April 28 after unsuccessfully appealing against his death sentence.

On April 12, a man in Hepu county, Guangxi Province, killed one student and one eld-erly person and injured five people, including three children, in front of a school gate.

On the same day Zheng was executed, a former teacher in his 40s broke into a primary school in Leizhou, Guangdong Province, and stabbed 18 students and a teacher.

Then, on the following day, a 47-year-old unemployed man broke into a classroom at a kindergarten in Taixing City, Jiangsu Province, with a 20-centimeter blade.

He injured 29 young children, along with two teachers and a security guard, the local police said. However, website users on a popular online forum, tianya.cn, claimed that eight were killed and that there were multiple attackers.

Child safety is an issue that touches the nerves of Chinese parents, many of whom have only one child.
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(Editor:梁军)

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