On the Campaign Trail 2012
Tafuna Elementary Level Eight Students had the chance to question six of the eight candidates running in the Tualauta District during a forum held at the school cafeteria yesterday.
Roy Hall Jr, Esther Fiatoa Wall, Tapumanaia Galu Satele, Larry Sanitoa, Su'a Lucia Alefosio Bartley, and Steven Lotonu'u Si'ufanua were in attendance, while Vui Florence Saulo was unable to attend due to a medical condition and Sataleava Soli Ofoia did not confirm his attendance with the school forum.
Issues such as teen pregnancy, education, college recruiters and violence in school were brought up during the hour and a half forum that was held in the presence of level eight teachers, parents, Vice Principal Tutuila Manase and Principal Puelai Aloese.
The moderator was Rodney Jensen, an eighth grade teacher.
Samoa News offers the Tualauta District candidates answers to two of the several questions that were asked during the forum.
One of the student’s asked what the candidates would do to help eliminate the problem of teenage pregnancy given that it’s increasing over the years in American Samoa.
Sanitoa, who is holding one of two incumbent seats in his district, believes the increase in teen pregnancy is due to the advances of technology and to social issues given that times have changed. He said that parents need to teach their children the importance of family values and the need for family evening prayers.
He noted that given the economic conditions we are in, parents are now both working to earn a living, unlike the old days where the father works and the mother tends to the children all the time. He also noted that Parent Teachers Association should come together to find a way to address this issue within schools.
SU’A LUCIA ALEFOSIO BARTLEY
Su’a points out that there are too many parents attending BINGO in the evening, instead of staying home and spending quality time with their daughters. She said that parents are attending BINGO because they are desperate for money due to the high cost of electricity by ASPA. She said while parents are attending BINGO the children are watching movies they are not supposed to be watching. Su’a said if she’s elected she would make sure that there would be BINGO for one night… or maybe two nights and during the holidays.
STEPHEN LOTONU’U SI’UFANUA
Si’ufanua said things happen because the youngsters are bored, they need activities to keep them occupied, and more chores to keep them busy.
The candidate, who has ten children, also said family values should be taught within families at a very young age, and as they grow they'll know the importance of family values.
He added that there should be more programs for the young ones in the evening like the boys and girls clubs to keep the children busy and occupied because kids get bored easily.
ROY HALL JR
Hall said this problem involves young men and women. To the parents, he said you need to know where your children are at all times, have them call you or you call where he or she is and ask to talk to an adult. Go pick them up from school or wherever they are. As a parent we need to teach our children to make good choices in life. Roy agreed with Su’a that BINGO should be held only one night a week.
ESTHER FIATOA WALL
Wall noted that this issue is taboo, and everyone should be involved. Social services, churches, the government, the community and the parents should address this within homes, schools and churches. She believes that everyone should work together to come up with ways to tackle this very difficult issue in our community.
TAPUMANAIA GALU SATELE
Tapumanaia, one of the two Tualauta incumbents, said this is very difficult issue however it is very important that the young ones understand this issue. He said the youth are exposed to a lot of social issues and there is a need to return to the basics ... which is more evident in how a child is raised. Tapumanaia encourages parents to spend more quality time with their children.
Teach your children he said, when they grow up and face difficult times they will know how to make hard decisions in life. Tapumanaia told the young girls in Samoan, “ole tamata’i Samoa e tausi lava lona mamalu” (a young Samoan female [always] maintains her virtue).
FIGHTING IN THE SCHOOLS
Due to the ongoing problems of students fighting in school, if you are elected what is your solution to stop students from fighting within the schools?
ROY HALL JR
Hall believes that students who fight because they have problems with other students should be kicked out of schools. He added these students who cause fights shouldn’t be in the school system.
The problems starts within families, he said. We have to teach our children to respect others and teach them that when they leave the homes they should be respectful of others not only the students but the teachers they encounter on a daily basis.
ESTHER FIATOA WALL
Wall said for short term the school who has students fighting should hire more security and should have stiff penalties. For the long term solution social services should work together with teachers, parents and the community to come up with solutions to eliminate this difficult issue of student fighting.
She said back when she was in school they had boxing rings where whomever wants to fight will take the challenge into the boxing ring with the consent of the parents and will fight with their opponent… no one can stop this fight until the student gives up.
TAPUMANAIA GALU SATELE
Tapuamanania said this is a very difficult issue and they have been searching for solutions to the fighting in school. He said the fights among the students and villages occur for many reasons.
He added that Tafuna High School, which is the most populated school in the territory has fights in the school, and due to the large student population, it is not an easy task to man this school.
Tapumanaia said he and Sanitoa have met with DOE, DPS the AG’s office and have come up with solutions to have police officers round the schools during, before and after school.
Sanitoa think this a serious issue and said he and Tapumanaia have worked closely with officials of DOE, government agencies, Reverends and village leaders, however there is a need for collaborative efforts that should include the PTA. He added that parents should work together with the schools, to eliminate this problem.
SU’A LUCIA BARTLEY
Su’a believes that we should go back to the core of our culture, the young ones are watching movies and now they are depicting what goes on in the movies to real life. She said that there is a need of leaders within families, school, and churches to teach the students the core of our culture. She said many parents leave their children home and go BINGO.
She added that we need to go back to our culture and for the children must obey their parents. If the students obey their parents at home they will also do the same within schools.
STEPHEN LOTONU’U SI’UFANUA
Si’ufanua said fighting has been happening for a very long time. Whatever solution there is we have to make it last because the fighting will not stop. He added that parents of the students should volunteer their time to police the school premises and there should also be school buses, as students fight because they are walking on the road. The students should be picked up and dropped off to their homes.
He noted that children should be taught that you do unto others as you want others to do unto you.
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