A Columbiner from Sterlitamak: why the guardianship service of Bashkiria did not stop the aggressive teenager

The second largest city in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, did not learn the bitter lessons of Perm and Buryatia

A Columbiner from Sterlitamak: why the guardianship service of Bashkiria did not stop the aggressive teenager Photo: Podslushano Sterlitamak/Vk.com

Another attack at a school took place in Russia on April 18, this time in the city of Sterlitamak. A 17-year-old teenager from a remedial class of the secondary school No. 1, as he had promised publicly, attacked with a knife a teacher and schoolmates, made a fire and tried to commit suicide. Four people have been hospitalized: students, the teacher and the attacker himself. The investigative committee has initiated two criminal cases, one — against officials who ignored the complaints of aggressive behaviour of the boy. Read more in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Columbine has reached Sterlitamak

In the morning on April 18, Artyom T., a student from Sterlitamak, came to school with a knife and gasoline. In the classroom of Information Technologies, he attacked two schoolmates and a young teacher, inflicting stab wounds. One of the girls was seriously injured: she jumped out of the window, escaping from the attacker. After that, the boy poured gasoline around the class, set fire and tried to kill himself. Now he is being under medical supervision.

A source of Realnoe Vremya from the hospital where the victims were hospitalized informed that both pupils and the teacher were in a stable condition. The 27-year-old teacher, Yekaterina P., was hospitalized with a stab wound in the chest, the condition is stable. Ninth-grader Vasilya S. was injured in the lumbar spine, a closed fracture of the tibia and incised wounds of the forearm, the condition is stable. Her classmate, Yulia F., was wounded in the breast on the right, she is in a serious condition.

The boy poured gasoline around the class, set fire and tried to kill himself. Photo: glavarb.ru

In social networks they also reported that Artyom also set fire to the teacher after attacking with a knife. But they denied this information in the school reception by phone.

One of the students of the school told our publication on condition of anonymity:

''I have seen this guy in the corridor, but I was not acquainted with him. I was not paying attention to his peculiarities in behaviour because he was in the class of mental retardation. I know the teacher, but I will not tell anything, I do not want to spread rumours. Everything happened not exactly as they report. The journalists describe everything in a much rougher way,'' said the schoolgirl.

''I thought someone would stop me''

Having learnt about the incident, the head of Bashkiria, Rustem Khamitov, immediately went to the Sterlitamak school, where he held an operational meeting on the spot. He instructed to strengthen the admission regime in all schools of the republic as soon as possible. ''This case once again encourages us to ensure that security systems in all schools of the republic are tested. We will carry out this work today or tomorrow,'' the press-service of the president of Tatarstan quoted his words. He also ordered to repair the class. Khamitov stressed that the work should begin already that day.

The head of the republic praised the actions of teachers and emergency services: ''The staff of the school in this situation acted professionally, competently from the point of view of the evacuation of children.'' In addition, Khamitov visited the victims in the hospital.

Rustem Khamitov immediately went to the Sterlitamak school, where he held an operational meeting on the spot. Photo: glavarb.ru

Artem T. studies in a remedial class of an ordinary secondary school. As told by his friends, the guy had long been preparing an attack, even warned about it on his page on Vkontakte. In particular, shortly before the attack, he posted a video with images of American assassins who shot pupils of the Columbine school in 1999. Now the account is closed, and friends share screenshots of correspondence. In it, Artyom says that ''he is preparing for destruction of people''. To the question: ''When?'' he replies: ''Sometime in the spring.'' And then he explains: ''The classmates are autistic.'' According to some reports, the teenager was teased at school, he complained of bullying. At the end of the conversation, the teenager as if even disappointedly says: ''I thought someone would stop me over all these time.'' But, as it is evident, this did not happen.

Criminal cases

The investigative committee has initiated two criminal cases: one of the attempted murder of two or more persons — against the schoolboy, the other — on the fact of negligence committed by officials of crime prevention authorities of minors. ''It is established that previously there had been statements of cases for violent behaviour of the 17-year-old teenager,'' the department reports.

Necessary measures of investigation are carried out within criminal cases. The investigators of the regional investigative committee continue the examination of the scene of the incident at the school. In the presence of parents and teachers they are interrogating the school students who became eyewitnesses of the attack.

Realnoe Vremya interviewed teachers-defectologists and psychologists about why such incidents get repeating in Russian schools and who is to blame in this situation. The opinions of experts converge in one: the responsibility for the incident lies with the school, the guardianship and prevention of juvenile crimes agency, which has not taken any measures after repeated applications.

  • Albina Nafigova

    Albina Nafigova psychologist, organizer of inclusive film screenings

    The adults who are responsible are to blame. In most conflict situations, there are guardianship agencies, controlling oversight bodies. I have repeatedly passed commissions and know that the human and professional factor is very weak here. There should work only caring and knowledgeable people. A child who has mental problems could be intentionally provoked. If we talk about pre-school institution, then there is an atmosphere created by the teacher team. The school is so focused on educational factor that children are left unattended during the breaks. And when it comes to inclusive or remedial schools, there should be not strict control, but adult participation. They should reach and achieve human consideration. It depends on who's taking care of him, and if it's the parents, it's possible to handle the situation. Everyone will try to demonstrate in this situation that the perpetrators are punished. But it is not the fact that those who are to blame will be punished.

  • Marina Gorodilova

    Marina Gorodilova teacher, defectologist

    In the spring all children with disabilities have exacerbations. If a child in a remedial class has studied there not for the first year, then parents should know about this. Then why the school hasn't reacted, why the child was not given a tutor? If the child has a disability, there are features in development, he is not to blame for this situation. Parents and school are to blame. Full legal capacity comes aged 18. We have a law, but it is one-sided. We need to take into account the side of this boy, and the side of these other children, so that no one's rights are infringed. And to ensure that nobody's rights are infringed, it is likely that the child will study not the full day or with him there must be a tutor.

  • Olga Galanina senior lecturer at social and political conflictology department of the Kazan National Research Technological University, clinical psychologist

    Aged 17, the child is in the state of maturation, rebellion, and the child is in age crisis. If there are features in development, then you need special attention and attitude of both parents and teachers. It is very important to understand what influenced and what were the reasons for the act. Perhaps, complicated relationships with parents or classmates, or influenced by the very nature of the instability. Here you need not to speak baselessly who is guilty in this situation, but to find out the reasons first. Since he posted on the Internet that he wanted someone to stop him, most likely it was a demonstration of his behaviour. More often at this age the child thinks that the world revolves around him. But the main thing here is the parents. They set an example for their children.

By Vasilya Shirshova, Evgeny Kalashnikov, Maria Pavlova
Bashkortostan