Thirty students arrested, warned

Thirty students have been arrested, reprimanded and released in relation to a brawl in the Apia township on Wednesday. 

The students come from different colleges.

Police Media Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino, confirmed the arrest.

He said the students were brought to the Police station because of a fight between colleges at the Savalalo Flea Market.

“Their parents were called in yesterday (Wednesday) and we had a talk,” he said.

“So we warned both (parents and students) if students get involved in any other fights then there will be no other consultation with the police but we’ll act according to the law that’s under Section 4 of Young Offenders Act.”

The 30 students were released after.

But Auapa’au said the Police is continuing their awareness programmes in various schools in the country.

“This is all part of our duty to try and teach what is best for our children; they have to understand the law and the effect of violence in their lives if they continue this kind of behaviour.

“We also warned the colleges of what we are doing now to avoid this kind of behaviour.”

Last year, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said he was serious about closing down government schools that are involved in school brawls.

He made a bold stand when the government shut Avele for two weeks.

 “I quite like this, whenever they get into fights we’ll close down the school,” Tuilaepa said at the time.

“That is the only thing they get because all of these fights are caused by the lack of discipline from the parents. So we close the school, it’s a lot easier.” 

While the government cannot close down any missionary schools where students get into fights, Tuilaepa said that wouldn’t be a problem. 

He said government education funds to the missionary schools would cease. 

“The government has no business with the missionary schools,” said Tuilaepa. 

“But it has changed the whole process of distributing the funds. They will no longer be handed to the fat people sitting inside the churches to distribute it. The funds will be paid out directly to the schools and once they get into fights, they get nothing.”

Tuilaepa said stopping funds to schools that were involved in fights meant they would end up closing them. 

“If the parents are listening they should think about taking their children to primary schools and colleges in the villages,” Tuilaepa said.

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