All primary and secondary schools should recruit legal advisors in order to improve students’ legal awareness, suggested Hao Shiling, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC).
At the annual session of the national legislature this year, Hao, a grassroots police officer in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, said legal advisors should play an important role in dealing with law-related affairs on campuses. Their participation will steer safety management and law-based governance forward and achieve a prevention-centered pattern that is law-based and involves multi-party engagement and collaborative efforts, according to the lawmaker.
Every primary and secondary school in China should have at least one part-time vice-principal who can take charge of law-related affairs and better protect children, according to a guideline issued by the Ministry of Education. It will take effect on May 1.
Though many schools already have such part-time vice-principals, according to Hao, there are some weak links in this practice, considering occurrences of bullying, violence and accidents at schools. This part-time job, mostly undertaken by officers from law enforcement authorities, can be in conflict with their full-time duties, which leads to unsatisfactory outcomes of their law-related efforts at schools, she explained.
To address these problems, Hao proposed multiple measures, such as pooling all the eligible human resources at law enforcement authorities and launching incentive packages. Hao also encouraged the vice-principals to play more roles in helping schools formulate policies, rules and regulations, as well as draft contracts and other legal documents, and assisting schools to establish mechanisms to handle complaints from students and teachers.
Young people has been listed as one of the key groups in China's eighth five-year plan on carrying out publicity and education to raise public awareness of the law, which stresses the role of school vice-principals and legal advisers in this initiative.
The newly revised Law on the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency, which came into effect on June 1, 2021, also makes specific stipulations on the role of vice-principals for law-related affairs at schools.