The premises of public primary schools and kindergartens in Cyprus could soon be surrounded by taller fencing and gates, based on discussion among officials in the aftermath of the Larnaca abduction case.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, stakeholders and ministry officials met on Thursday to discuss ways of beefing up security in state public schools in consultation with parents, unions, and community boards. A total of five measures were set as agenda items for the next meeting on October 10.
One of items on the agenda, according to Kathimerini, is data gathering on current fencing. Kindergartens and elementary schools would be expected to report back on their current fencing around school grounds, in order to determine whether they are adequate or they should be improved.
Another suggestion was the installation of door phones at all school entrances in order to monitor every person who goes in and out of the premises. A third measure focused on having security guards on school grounds in kindergartens and elementary schools between 7am and 8am, in order to provide security to all students before they begin their first morning lesson.
Additional measures include more stringent procedures for parents who wish to pick up their kids early from school. Also, educators should be trained to relay to their pupils a sense of alertness when they might face a situation with a stranger, such as the incident ten days ago with the Larnaca abductor.
On September 25 in Larnaca, two 11-year-old school boys were approached on school premises by a 35-year-old suspect minutes before first class period and coaxed into following him in what became a long kidnapping ordeal, where they were drugged in his apartment and kept inside for almost eight hours.
Part of the kidnapping was caught on video by another camera nearby.
But cameras did not make the list in the security discussion for next week, as they remain controversial due to privacy issues. However, some members of parliament had signaled a day after the abduction that they would not necessarily rule out cameras for security reasons.