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Police warn students over bus terminal brawl

Students from Saint Joseph’s College and Leifiifi College involved in a brawl at the Savalalo Bus terminal on Tuesday have been warned by the Police.

This was confirmed by the Principal of Leifiifi College, Sifuiva Malaea Lauano, during an interview with the Samoa Observer.

On Tuesday afternoon, more than 20 Police officers were called to the Savalalo bus terminal after a brawl broke out between the students.

Several students from both schools were taken into Police custody, some after they were chased down by Police. 

Ms. Lauano added that no students from both schools will be expelled because there were no arrests.

“There were three students of our school that were taken into police custody on the day of the incident,” she said.

She added that both schools are working to establish what started the brawl and come up with a solution.

“At the moment we do not know the reason behind the fight," she said. 

"Our students explained that they do not know why they were beaten up by Saint Joseph’s College students. The priority for both schools is to make sure no harm will befall on the students. The police also told us that students were taken in for statements. 

“The teachers will be in town monitoring the students that is an extra load on our shoulders but we already have so much to catch up with student’s lessons.”

The Principal of Saint Joseph's College, Susitina Maletino Levao, expressed her disappointment over the incident.

Ms. Levao told the Samoa Observer that there will be no students expelled without a police report indicating their involvement.

“I would like to make things clear that the majority of our students that were taken into police custody for statements or police was trying to get information from them as to what happened,” she said.

She added that on Tuesday night when students were in police custody, one of their teachers was at the police station and spoke with the police officers. 

“One of my disciplinarians [teachers] informed me that no student had been charged but the only advice from police is for the school principals to discuss ways to solve these disagreements between the students.

“The Police officers were looking for information and I told my students that if you stand where an incident occurs then you are part of that event even if you were only watching.

“This is not a good time for students to get involved in fights because schools are given limited time to do lessons and plus we all have so much to catch up in terms of the curriculum after many times schools were closed.”

Furthermore, she added that even if the last resort is permanent dismissal of students from school, but the question is, where these students will go to have an education because some youths will resort to committing crimes after leaving school.

“It is also never a good feeling to let go of students. We are not pointing fingers but we are still trying to find out what really happened.

“School fights are not new to us principals, I truly believe that not all students are bad but also there are small groups of students that make bad decisions but we are trying our best to offer advices.

“Some may say that teachers are not disciplining the students enough but we cannot do this because there are rules that prohibit teachers from hurting or inflicting harm on students as a disciplinary measure.”

She also mentioned that their school believes in not using discouraging words for students.

“If we use strong discouraging words on the students then it could also hurt them emotionally which could make things worse and stir anger within them.

“I think that the majority of us principals and teachers always advise the students that the reality is that if you do not have a degree, you cannot access a good job.

“I always challenge the students that if they do not want to be cleaners or work out in the hot sun every day then prioritise their education and respect their elders.”

She also acknowledged some parents that have approached their office.

“The same message that both myself and Leififi College’s principal always convey is that no one tells the students to start brawls.

“It is very difficult for some students to absorb good advices while others simply do not care. But I am also telling the truth that some parents cannot control their children and then we do our part to try and help.

“My advice is that if parents prioritise their children’s future then we should work together for that common goal.”

Attempts to attain comments via email and phone calls from Police were unsuccessful. 

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