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Psychological counseling offered after teacher murdered
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Nineteen students, who saw their teacher stabbed to death in a classroom of a law university in Beijing on Tuesday, are receiving free psychological counseling at the school.

"Please, no media interviews with the students. Don't give them a second psychological trauma," said Liu Xiqing, head of the Psychological Health and Counseling Center at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) on Thursday.

Liu said everyone is trying to deal with the murder of law professor, Cheng Chunming. His suspected killer, was a student from the university's Political Science and Public Management School.

"He wasn't a bad student. Though not one of the best students in class, Fu Chengli's study behaviors were generally good," said Liu.

Fu, along with every freshman, was given a psychological questionnaire by the center to determine if he/she might need help. Fu's test result in 2005 was classified as "normal."

"Since Fu has been put under police detention, there is no way of knowing his latest psychological state," Liu said.

Police told Xinhua that Fu dialed "110" to report the killing with his own mobile phone. He then waited outside the classroom where he surrendered.

Zhang Kan, director of the China Psychological Society, said campus violence committed by educated people typically does not happen in a sudden emotional outburst.

"These criminals fully understand the consequences of criminal behavior and have deliberated about it for some time. A psychological intervention or counseling could work to prevent such a crime from happening, if it is done when killing is still an idea," Zhang said.

There was no authoritative source to confirm Fu's motives for murder.

The Beijing Youth Daily quoted witnesses as saying that the 43-year-old professor was talking with students when Fu walked in with a kitchen knife and then cut Cheng twice on the right side of his neck.

Cui Wenjun, a CUPL alumni, said he believed the attack on the teacher was an isolated incident and added students should learn to ask for psychological help when they feel depressed.

"I know many schools have set up psychological counseling centers. Few students turn to them for help when they have problems. I think many students, like me, are dubious on whether psychologists can help them solve problems, and therefore never give it a try," Cui said.

The murder at university was the third attack on a teacher in China this month. In the other two cases, a 16-year-old middle school student killed his teacher with a knife in Shanxi Province. Another student of the same age, in Zhejiang Province, strangled his teacher to death.

(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2008)

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