Threat shuts school

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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Members of the Tactical Operation Squad surrounding Maluafou College yesterday.

Members of the Tactical Operation Squad surrounding Maluafou College yesterday.

Police officers in full riot gear took over the compound of Maluafou College yesterday.

Students were promptly sent home and the school will be closed today for safety reasons, with the authorities on full alert about a possible attack on the school by another school up the road.

The threat was made on Facebook with a post by someone identified as “Vadoz Lokoz” calling on students to bring knifes, petrol bombs and rocks for the attack. 

The threat, suspected to have been made by an Avele College student, follows a brawl between the two schools at Maluafou last Friday. The threat instructs Avele students to take the Magiagi bus and get off just on the riverside, opposite Leifiifi College. The students are then told to proceed to Maluafou to start the attack.

“Beat all the boys and girls of the school, no one is to be spared including the teachers,” the post reads.

The note instructs year 9 students to bring small knives, year 12 students to bring bottles and year 13 students are asked to bring petrol.

“Make sure you beat up the girls of Maluafou as if you are beating up a boy… and stab them with the knives.” 

It was not possible to get a comment from the Police yesterday.

When the Avele Principal, Matafeo Reupena Matafeo, was contacted for a comment, he said his staff was having a meeting. 

“I know why you called but we are having a meeting at the moment discussing that issue,” he said.

He did not elaborate. 

Neither the Principal of Maluafou College or the Director of E.F.K.S Education, Reverend Vavatau Taufao would comment on the issue yesterday.

But a teacher at Maluafou College, who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity, said the decision to close the school is for safety reasons. 

 “We heard rumors that our school will be under attack,” he said. “We don’t want to take any chances on the safety of students. So we thought this is the best thing to do as we seek a mediation meeting with Avele.

 I’m hoping that this will be resolved before the end of the week because we have been preparing for our English Day but now that cannot go ahead.”

The teacher blamed the wrong use of social media for the escalating problem.

 “Once the students get on to it, the teachers can’t do anything about it,” he said. 

The teacher also confirmed that five students from Maluafou were taken by Police over the fight last week.

“What’s happening is very disappointing,” the teacher said. “But we cannot risk the safety of students and we think it’s best that they are at home while the Police are trying to sort out what is happening.”

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