- Language Tips
We feel sad that 22 primary school stu-dents in Central China's Henan province were wounded by a villager with mental health problems wielding a knife on Friday, the same day as 20 children and seven adults in the United States were shot dead by a gunman in Connecticut. While the school shooting in the US brings forth the topic of gun control, the tragedy in China points to the necessity of tightening security in schools, those in rural areas in particular.
This tragedy took place in a rural primary school in Guangshan county and the preliminary investigation shows that the culprit with a knife in his hand entered the school without anyone stopping him, and then he hacked his way from the first floor of the school building to the third floor.
It would have been extremely difficult to stop the gunman who shot the students in Connecticut, but it should have been possible to stop the man from attacking the school children in Guangshan.
The culprit might not have been able to enter the school had there been security guards, who were responsible enough to stop him and ask his identity. But unfortunately there was not even a janitor, never mind security guards, at the school gate at the time, according to reports.
It might have been possible to subdue the culprit had teachers come to the defense of the students. It was reported that some boys blocked the door of their classroom and the attacker failed to cause any harm to students in that classroom. But where were all the teachers?
The ministries of education and public security required that local governments must arrange security guards at nurseries and primary schools two years ago when a series of similar tragedies occurred at kindergartens.
Now there are security guards in most urban schools. But apparently this rural village school had no one to guard the students from intruders. Neither was there any preventive measure in place, say a janitor or an alarm system, in case any intruder broke into the school.
The school principal and even the county leader will receive disciplinary punishments. But will all the rural school principals and local government leaders be made to discuss all the safety hazards children may face at school and then adopt preventive measures in advance? We shouldn't wait until another tragedy occurs.
(China Daily 12/17/2012 page8)