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Schools ordered to hire security guards

(China Daily)

08:06, January 11, 2013

Officers from the Armed Police and local public security bureau in Jimo, East China’s Shandong province, display policing skills to students at the No 3 Experimental Primary School on Thursday. Jan 10 is the 110 Police Hotline Awareness Day in China. (Photo/China Daily)

Responding to an attack last month by a knife-wielding man who injured 23 young students, top law enforcement officials said schools and kindergartens now must have at least one full-time security guard.

A campaign will be launched that targets crime in areas around schools and kindergartens, the officials announced at a meeting in Beijing on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the infrastructure, food, fire and transportation safety around schools and kindergartens will be examined, the People's Daily reported.

The announcements followed an attack by a 36-year-old villager who injured 23 students in a primary school in Guangshan county, Henan province, on Dec 14.

Min Yongjun is alleged to have stormed into the school and stabbed the students.

Local authorities later said Min was found to have "limited criminal capacity", which means Min has mental problems but could still control his actions, Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The Wednesday meeting did not specify the funding source for security guards, and that caused schools in poor areas to worry.

"Right now we are struggling to pay the wages of two substitute teachers, not to mention a full-time security guard," said Ma Guanghui, principal of Mengda Baojie Primary School in Xunhua Salar autonomous county in Qinghai province.

"Hiring a security guard would definitely be a good idea. But it is not possible for us right now unless the authorities can help solve the funding problem," he said in a phone interview.

Beijing municipal authorities started requiring schools and kindergartens to hire security guards in 2010. The capital city's education commission has pledged to provide funding for kindergartens with financial difficulties.

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