School installs anti-bullying alarms in toilets

Zhang Chaoyan
Pilot in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, involves AI audio alarm devices on campus in places normally considered "hidden corners" in an effort to prevent and address campus bullying.
Zhang Chaoyan
School installs anti-bullying alarms in toilets

An AI audio alarm device.

A school in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian Province, is piloting anti-bullying AI audio alarm devices in response to a recent rise in bullying incidents nationwide.

Fuzhou Aofeng Junior High School has installed the devices in places such as toilets to prevent and address campus bullying.

Guo Baijing, the school's vice principal, said the devices are equipped with voice recognition technology. When students shout out device-sensitive words such as "someone is hitting me" or "help," the alarm will be triggered and school authorities alerted.

"Upon receiving the alarm signal, teachers can connect to the student via a phone call and rush to the scene of the incident to stop the bullying behavior," Guo said.

The pilot program quickly garnered public attention for its focus on "hidden corners," as campus bullying incidents often occur in private areas such as dormitories and bathrooms, where traditional video surveillance systems cannot be installed due to sensitivity and privacy concerns, reported.

A simulation of the bullying alarm devices in action.

Middle schools in cities including Beijing and Lu'an in Anhui Province have also installed the devices.

Considering they are still at an experimental stage, Guo said that further improvement was still needed before putting them into use on campus. "There may be situations where students trigger sensitive words out of curiosity or playfulness," he said.

In recent years, there have been frequent incidents of campus bullying in primary and secondary schools, sparking mounting concern over the safety of minors on campus. Some cases have even resulted in deliberate murder and suicide incidents.

On March 10, the gruesome case of a junior school student in Handan, killed and buried allegedly by three classmates, caused a strong social sensation. The student had previously been subjected to long-term bullying.

Last Sunday, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Fujian Province died after jumping from a building due to allegedly campus bullying. The case is under investigation.

The Ministry of Education recently demanded that special education on campus violence and student bullying prevention be widely carried out amid its nationwide move to crack down on campus bullying. Prior to this, the national authority also proposed timely identification of signs of potential bullying incidents or ongoing bullying incidents in a guideline on the prevention and addressing of bullying and violence among primary and secondary school students.

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