Security guard stabs 39 at Guangxi primary school

By Zhang Li and Shi Ruipeng in Nanning | China Daily
Updated: June 5, 2020

Thirty-nine students and staff members were injured during a frenzied stabbing by a security guard at a primary school in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region on Thursday morning, local authorities said.

The attack took place around 8:30 am at Central Primary School in the town of Wangfu in Wuzhou.

All the wounded were sent to hospital for treatment. Local prosecutors, who have stepped in to guide police investigating the case, said on WeChat that 37 students suffered minor injuries while two adults had more serious injuries.

Police detained the attacker, 50-year-old Li Xiaomin, who was a member of the school's security staff. The motive for the attack is unknown and an investigation is underway.

A team of psychological counselors organized by a local women's federation has been sent to the school to help students cope with fear and depression resulting from the attack.

In September, the education supervision office of the State Council, China's Cabinet, issued an urgent circular asking education authorities, kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools across the country to strengthen campus safety measures.

It asked local education authorities to work with public security and market regulation authorities to inspect and eliminate campus safety hazards, focusing on the implementation of safety management policies and elimination of safety hazards around campuses, on school buses, in campus facilities and at activity venues.

Local education authorities should make sure that schools are equipped with sufficient security staff and necessary protective equipment. Security staff should better fulfill their duties and prevent hazardous materials or unauthorized personnel from entering the campus, the circular said, adding that unqualified security staff should be fired and replaced.

In addition, schools should increase the salaries of their security staff, provide more training and hire more retired soldiers and young people as security guards.

Guangxi's regional education department said all schools, including kindergartens, will employ professional security guards by the end of this year.