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All schools in China to hire security guards after Henan knife attack

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 10:31am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 2:24pm

Repercussions from a Henan school knife attack that injured 23 pupils last month are still being felt as Beijing security officials announced on Wednesday that every kindergarten, and primary and middle school in China will hire at least one full-time security officer.

The officials, from the Central Comprehensive Social Management Commission that oversees law enforcement, said they had ordered a nationwide crackdown on crimes in neighbourhoods near schools. Illegal businesses and hazardous roads and construction projects nearby are also being inspected.

The announcement, reported by the People’s Daily on Thursday, comes weeks after a man stormed into a village school and slashed several young children in a.brutal attack

The suspect, Min Yingjun, 36, who was mentally ill, rampaged through the school for more than half an hour before he was stopped. Lacking proper weapons, school staff and nearby residents used brooms to take him down.

The safety of China's schoolchildren, especially those in rural areas, has been hotly debated since the Henan incident. Many believe local governments should be held accountable and urge schools to enforce better protection measures.

Whether all schools nationwide can hire full-time security guards is another question. Those in rural areas barely have enough funds to provide adequate desks and chairs for students, requiring parents to buy sets for their children.