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NPC set to act against rising school violence

By Cao Yin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-11 07:04
NPC set to act against rising school violence

National People's Congress officials, led by Liu Binjie (left), chairman of the NPC's Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, come to meet journalists in a news conference in Beijing on Friday. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Deputies will study how to best deter the growing phenomenon in the nation

China's top legislature will conduct a special inspection of school ground safety this year and study how to reduce violence at schools, a senior legislator said on Friday.

School violence, a growing problem at primary and middle schools in the past years, has aroused widespread concern, so the national legislature will set up special studies and research focusing on the issue, said Wang Shengming, vice-chairman of the Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress.

"The studies and research will be developed based on the inspection of enforcement of the Juvenile Protection Law," said Wang.

It's also necessary to update the laws and take necessary measures to deter school violence, such as education or more severe punishment, depending on the seriousness of a case, Wang said.

Liu Xiya, an NPC deputy from Chongqing, applauded the proposed inspection and studies.

She suggested the top legislature write school violence into the law, as the number of such cases has been rising in recent years.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's top prosecuting authority, received about 1,900 cases related to school bullying or violence in the first 11 months of last year, resulting in 1,100 arrests and 2,300 prosecutions, according to the procuratorate data released at the end of 2016.

"Students in some cases suffered serious injuries and that not only harmed their health, but also brought them psychological problems," Liu said.

"For example, some children might feel lonely or have difficulty with social activities after being subjected to violence."

The frequency of violence could be attributed to schools' negligence, "as some schools regard such fights between students as minor incidents and see no need for punishment", she said.

Liu suggested setting up campus police in schools, as is done in some foreign countries, and entrust the officers with helping to enforce school rules and investigating or handling cases of violence.

On Friday, the NPC Standing Committee also said it would continue to tighten supervision of matters related to people's well-being this year, such as food and the environment.

Liu Binjie, chairman of the NPC's Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, said that the top legislature conducted a law enforcement inspection on food safety last year, and it would focus this year on rectifying the problems found in the inspection.

For example, inspectors found that food testing and quarantine laboratories are scattered over various agencies such as health authorities and colleges.

Legislators will look this year at how to better integrate them, he said.


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