Parents in China have been dropping their children off to school amid extra security measures on the first day of classes since a series of recent attacks on schools by individuals. Police and security guards stood by and additional cameras were installed at some institutions.
Last week saw three attacks. In Taixing city in Jiangsu province on Thursday, a middle-aged unemployed man armed with a knife wounded 29 kindergarten children, two teachers and a security guard.
Experts see an inability in some people to take responsibility for their actions.
“They need to find a vulnerable target to take their revenge out on,” said psychologist Sun Yuxiao. “I think that for most of the incidents like this that we’ve seen recently, this is what was going on in their heads. For this kind of retaliation, they are not going to seek out and confront a strong victim in a fair fight. They are afraid they might not win and be further humiliated. So what do they do? They choose these innocent children.”
Yesterday in Beijing a young man holding a young girl hostage in the street was shot dead by police. He’d grabbed the five-year-old while she was riding her bike with her parents in the street, and held a knife to her neck.
Snipers shot the man while he talked with police negotiators, while bystanders applauded.
Child safety has now become a political priority in China. Officials have stressed the need to identify potential aggressors and offer help before they do harm.