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Georgian Ombudsman Calls for Tighter Security at Schools

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, December 6
(TBILISI) -- In the wake of a fatal schoolyard fight in central Tbilisi, Georgia’s Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili on Tuesday said it is time for the country to strengthen security measures at schools to guarantee safer environment for students and teachers.

Nanuashvili wants to grant school security personnel more powers to properly police the facilities that they oversee. The current system calls for reserve police officers to be attached to each school and watch for students who cut lessons, smoke, do drugs or cause general disruptions on the campus grounds.

The statement statement came after a brutal confrontation between a group of students of two Tbilisi public schools left a pair of 16-year-olds dead from multiple stab wounds.

Nanuashvili stressed that children remain highly vulnerable to various forms of street and domestic violence. Few measures to protect them exist and schools are plagued by insufficient response methods that are ill-equipped to deal with events similar to the deadly brawl on December 1, said Nanuashvili.

“We will intensify our efforts to prevent similar future crimes. Our efforts will cover all schools and involve all state agencies, NGOs, the media, civil society and the international community, as well,” said Education Minister Mikheil Chkhenkeli.

The Prosecutor’s Office have launched a criminal investigation into the incident. Two underage minors are charged with the pre-mediated murder of the boys who died in the altercation.

Five other individuals have also been arrested and charged with conspiring to cover up the crime, including an employee of Tbilisi’s police force and a parent of one of the murder suspects, according to Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia.