Shooting spree in Belgrade: how to keep schools safe?
One week ago a thirteen-year-old boy opened fire in his school in Belgrade, leaving eight pupils and a security guard dead and six others wounded. After the killing the boy turned himself over to the police and handed over the weapon that belonged to his father. The press asks how repeat occurrences may be prevented.
More police would only help in the short term
Novi list calls for more humanity:
“The Serbian government announced that it would be stepping up the police presence in the streets. This is a reasonable immediate response to events. But it is absolutely not a good idea in the longer term. The best response in such cases, especially when young people are involved, is to introduce more humanity into society. Our high-speed lifestyles and the lockdowns during the pandemic have impaired communication and increasingly atomised society. ... Talk with people, listen to your children, show more understanding for each other. That is true prevention.”
The government’s responsibility
Pešćanik speculates whether the shooting is a symptom of the political climate:
“The question ‘why now’? makes us wonder to what extent the current decade-old government of new radicals might somehow be to blame. ... This government is undoubtedly fuelled by hatred and violence. It turns every disagreement into a conflict simply to justify the use of violence. ... All this violence at the top has a trickle-down effect in the hierarchy of relations. And yet no one could maintain that there is a direct causal connection between our awful government and the mass shooting in the school. .. The killer is only thirteen, and the influence of the wider environment on his personality is certainly not direct.”
Psychologists not bag searches
Romanian Interior Minister Lucian Bode is considering whether to introduce airport-style metal detectors into Romanian schools. Sportmedia scoffs at the idea:
“Instead of investing in detectors and security gates, the government should employ a horde of psychologists, at least one per school, depending on how many children there are. Professionals who can observe the children in the breaks, or in sports lessons. ... A trained eye is sure to spot isolated, outcast children and groups of bullies and their victims. ... The psychologists should have the right to ring the parents and if necessary the social services too, who in turn should be able to take make a radical intervention if a child’s development is at risk.”