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May 21, 2010

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Worried parents take school guardian roles

LOCAL parents have joined volunteer teams to team up with police, security guards and teachers in guarding their children from potential crazy attackers at kindergartens.

In fear of China's recent series of fatal assaults on children, kindergartens have started recruiting online for parent volunteers to help ensure the safety of their kids.

Parents have rushed to help.

More than 100 parents and even grandparents of young kids have signed up for positions in the voluntary team to help guard the Xinhua Road Kindergarten in Changning District, according to a teacher surnamed Yang.

Now the kindergarten's security team has increased to nine: a policeman, two security guards, two neighborhood volunteers, two teachers and two parents.

Volunteer groups are also popular at other schools, such as Shanghai Xuhui Science and Technology Kindergarten and Shanghai Ziwei Kindergarten.

"It's time for us to do something for the safety of our kids, and I believe we are able to scare off those madmen," said Zhang Qian, a 30-year-old mother of a four-year-old son, who volunteered to guard Tianlin Kindergarten.

Zhang said she was thinking of purchasing some weapons, such as batons or pepper spay, via the Internet, but she was not sure she could get them on the Metro.

Yang said the Xinhua Road Kindergarten started to recruit parent volunteers to strengthen security two weeks ago, never thinking so many parents would step forward.

"The fathers of young kids are showing their concern that most of the teachers here are female, so they have decided to take a day off and come for help," said Yang.

Besides the fathers, grandfathers also came to keep watch. Some older men could be seen in the morning sitting on small stools they'd brought, watching for suspicious faces.

Yang said the parent volunteers worked two in a group and each group worked one day, about two hours in the morning and another two hours in the afternoon.

Their main job was to stay at the entrance and check every parent's pass card.


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