When classes resume in China this week, police officers and vans will be stationed outside school gates in the city of Chongqing while newly installed video surveillance and intruder alarms will be keeping watch over classrooms in eastern Fujian. Guards patrolling school premises in southeastern Jiangxi will carry police batons and pepper spray.
Chinese authorities have ordered school security to be tightened nationwide, part of the government's effort to assert control and calm public fears after three back-to-back attacks on schools last week that left a few dozen children injured, says an AP report. The measures start on Tuesday when schools reopen after a three-day public holiday.
The latest attack occurred on Friday, when a farmer used a motorcycle to break down the gate of a primary school in the eastern city of Weifang and struck five students with a hammer. He then poured gasoline over his body and burned to death, the report said.
The Ministry of Public Security issued an emergency notice to police departments around the country to strengthen patrols in and around schools at the beginning and end of the school day and to inspect small hotels, Internet cafes and "recreational sites" next to schools. It also urged investigations to be quickly handled and attackers severely punished, the report said.
Police should "strive to provide our students and children with an environment of strong security and public order to grow up in," said the Saturday notice.