Chengdu enhances school security
Security is being beefed up at schools in Chengdu, Sichuan province, in response to the rising tide of terrorism around the world.
Under a new regulation from the city’s education bureau, an age limit of 50 will be set for security guards at all educational facilities, and alarms will be installed at all school gates.
School safety management department chief Lei Jie said the regulation is aimed at ensuring campus safety and was drawn up in response to the Anti-Terrorism Law, the first of its kind inChina, which took effect on Jan 1.
“Older people cannot respond quickly in times of emergency,” Lei said, adding that campus security had already been strengthened in the wake of theKunming Railway Station knife attack in neighboring Yunnan province on March 1, 2014, which left 29 people dead and 143 injured.
“Chengdu has about 2,000 kindergartens and 1,000 primary and high schools. In 2014, those had about 3,000 security guards, but that number is now 8,350,” Lei said.
In addition, about 50 percent of all kindergartens, primary and high schools in Chengdu already have alarm facilities.
The additional security guards were paid for by the local financial administration department after pressure from Lei’s bureau and the Chengdu municipal bureau of public security, Lei said.
Tang Jingyun, principal of JitouHigh School in Chengdu, said the school pre-empted the change by installing alarms on their school’s gates “long before” the regulations were posted on the bureau’s website for public feedback on July 29.
“When a security guard presses a button, the device alerts the police station and ensures that officers arrive within minutes,” Tang said.
He Seqing, the mother of a student at a rural primary school in Chengdu, said she thinks parents would feel more secure if schools have guards “who are not merely old keepers” and have alarm facilities “like those in a bank”.
The regulation requires school gates to be at least 3.5 meters wide to enable fire engines to pass through.
Public comment ended on Aug 8.
After public opinion is taken into consideration, it will be submitted to the Chengdu municipal government.