Tue, Dec 25, 2012 - Page 6 News List

China refocuses on school security

‘RAGE AND ANGER’:Children in a Dec. 14 stabbing spree at an elementary school were left to defend themselves with brooms, despite promises of guards in schools

NY Times News Service, BEIJING

The reporter found a deputy director of the education office playing a video game; that official refused to provide any answers. School officials and a village official also declined to discuss the attack, but the reporter unearthed the fact that two teenagers had been fatally stabbed in attacks last year and last month at a high school across the street from the county education office.

On Tuesday last week, Xinhua news agency reported that six officials, including two school principals, had been fired.

Some other reports offered sketchy details about the arrested suspect, Min Yongjun (閔擁軍), 36. Beijing News reported on Wednesday that he felt deeply ashamed of his epilepsy. An article by Xinhua said Min believed in the purported ancient Mayan doomsday prophecy about the world ending last Friday, implying that had somehow affected his behavior. Guangshan police deputy director Ouyang Mingxing (歐陽明星) told Chinese reporters that Min had first attacked an elderly woman, Xiang Jiaying, and then decided that “he might as well just stab some students since he had already killed a person.” (Xiang was hospitalized, but not fatally injured.)

The abiding question of why was asked by one person in charge of the official microblog of People’s Daily.

“School killings happen over and over again, and murderers who have mental diseases are not the minority,” the person wrote. “Has any of the self-examination brought us any changes? These schoolchildren just started their lives; why is it that criminals always attack innocent children?”

Some commentators said the attackers feel they have been wronged by society.

“Chinese society is full of anger and rage,” Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村), a best-selling novelist and popular online commentator, said in a telephone interview. “Everybody has anger. Everybody has hate. Those who have been treated unfairly harm those who are even more vulnerable. It must be noted that every society has its share of sociopaths, but for China to have so many is no doubt abnormal.”

Murong said the only way to alleviate that was to establish a fair legal system and to “achieve real justice in society, so that the people won’t be mired in despair.”

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