Fear blamed for students missing class in Salelologa

The grenade threat in Salelologa, Savai'i, caused anxiety among residents in the area, including students at a school 30 meters away from the area sealed off by the Police.  

Principal of Manumalo Baptist School, Seumanu Greta Seumanu, told the Samoa Observer more than 20 students did not show up to school on Tuesday. 

“The students are afraid of what is happening around here,” Seumanu said.

“We are trying our best to keep them calm and explain to them that what they are afraid of has not been confirmed and to stay put. 

“A lot of students did not show up to school today and I am certain it is because of the incident. 

“They are afraid and rightfully so because we have never experience anything like this before so we are trying to distract them and assure them there is not harm at this stage.” 

The school has a roll of about 240 students, and educates pre-school and primary school students from nearby villages. 

Students going to Manumalo Baptist usually take the route in front of the Seki a Savai’i Ltd company to reach the school. 

The road going back to the school is in front of the area which is sealed off. 

Since the incident occurred, Seumanu said Police have not been updated them on what is happening. 

She said it would have been helpful if the authority had advised them on the circumstances of the situation so they can make informed decision on whether to close the school or not. 

“We have not heard from Police since the day the road was sealed off,” said Seumanu. 

“So because we have not been informed by Police of the situation, we decided not to cancel the school even though it is just down the road. 

“A lot of parents are concerned about their children but we are waiting until the reports are confirmed then we can take further action. 

“I have decided not to listen to what is being discussed on social media and by others and just waiting on the reports to see if its confirmed or not.”

 The school is preparing activities for a pre-exhibition event for the Pacific Games to be held on Friday. 

Schools from Puapua going to Don Bosco Salelologa are participating in the event. 

According to Seumanu, the event will feature all the schools including Manumalo exhibiting there cheers and songs for filming for the Pacific Games. 

The school has been practicing their activities for the event scheduled on Friday this week for a month. 

A concerned father, Leatigaga Faaleleiga, who has three children attending Manumalo, said he is worried for the safety of his children. 

“I cannot be sure if my children are safe here but I hope police investigation will be completed soon so we can put it to rest,” he said. 

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