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School stabbing triggers Okinawa policy changes

Date Posted: 2005-02-25

Okinawa schools are beefing up security in the wake of a stabbing that killed a teacher last week in mainland Japan.

The teacher was stabbed to death in Osaka by a former student.

Now, Okinawa schools are tightening controls over strangers and visitors, stopping them to ask who they are and why they’re visiting. Visitors must now sign in, and specify whom they want to see.

An incident Sunday in Hirana City, Miyako Island, stirred more concern when an alarm system went off on a non-school day when the building should have been empty. Security officials responding discovered 46 windows with the glass broken out. “Oh no,” said one guard. “Who did this? It’s 1:30 in the morning.”

The school gate was locked, and investigators say it appears nothing was stolen. Still a school-owned bicycle was found inside a classroom with a broken window, and other classrooms had brooms, napkins and cleaning supplies scattered about.

Police are investigating. “It’s kind of too much,” said one. “It looks like it was done by many people. But why? And who?”

Teachers had gone home Saturday about 7pm, and say there was nobody in the building after that. Guards performed checks, but found nothing unusual.

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