The Chinese public has been angered by the local government's indifferent response to an attack on a primary school in Guangshan, Henan Province, prompting reflection on how to protect minors and prevent tragedies from happening again, especially in the wake of a US school shooting on the same day.
A 36-year-old man on Friday broke into a primary school in Guangshan and injured 22 children with a knife, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
However, the news of the attack, first announced on the official website of the publicity bureau of the local Party committee, was deleted several hours later and a news conference that was supposed to be held on Saturday was also canceled without an official explanation, reported Xinhua.
"Covering up the news is always the standard way that local governments use to deal with any man-made or natural disasters," said Xinhua.
Web users in China compared the case with the US school shooting in which 20 children were killed, reflecting on what Chinese authorities should do in the face of such tragedy, and how to be transparent with the information and report the story in a humane way without hurting the victims' families.
US President Barack Obama made a speech expressing condolences to the victims' families after the shooting, and national flags were ordered to fly at half mast. By contrast, the Guangshan government's cold attitude and attempts to block information have triggered outrage.
Obama suggested that "meaningful action" would be taken in the wake of the shooting, which many Americans and media interpreted as taking the form of tightened gun policy controls.
But no local officials had yet come to check on the situation, a doctor from Guangshan hospital told the Global Times, adding that most of the victims had suffered injuries to the head and face.
A parent of one of the injured students surnamed Wei said that no government official had visited them and no details of any compensation had been disclosed since the incident.
"The incident might cast a shadow over my kid's whole life," Wei told the Global Times.
Min Yongjun, who was arrested by local police at the scene, is thought to have been suffering from a mental disorder and epilepsy, while Adam Lanza, 20, the suspect in the US massacre who shot himself after the killing, was a shy and awkward boy, showing no signs of being a mass killer.
Most of the 20 children killed in the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Thursday were girls between the ages of 6 and 7, according to a list of victims released by the US government.
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