Less lethal but no less alarming, China deals with school attacks

Updated
Demonstrating a defense against a knife- or hammer-wielding attacker in China.
Demonstrating a defense against a knife- or hammer-wielding attacker in China.
AFP

In China, where few have guns and now even relatively less deadly knives longer than 15 cm require registration and showing a national ID card, what’s left to do when society continues to produce deranged individuals who want to attack innocent school children?

Among the responses to the 2010 spate of horrific school attacks in China was the distribution of odd restraining devices pictured above.

Other measures are being put in place. In Jiangsu province, local police have helped schools set up “campus security team” composed of 70 security guards with batons and pepper spray. Police in Beijing have distributed “forks”, long poles with semi-circular prongs that security guards could use to fight assailants. In Changsha, capital of central Hunan province, parents formed vigilante teams to patrol local elementary schools.

Some of the language about defending schools is familiar even if the specifics don’t quite align with American ideas.

Reporting from Beijing — All of 110 pounds, security guard Chen Xiu might not pack much heft, but he says no knife-wielding attackers will get past the red iron gate where he watches over an elementary school in downtown Beijing.

“If they come in here, I’m ready to beat them up,” said Chen, 49, pumping the air with a bare fist. “You have to be brave to take on criminals.”

So far, however, I’ve not heard anyone propose personal bodyguards for children. “A businessman in southern China was reported to have hired a well-known kung fu master to protect his 6-year-old daughter.”

Less lethal but no less alarming, China deals with school attacks

Updated