Alleged assault of student by teacher goes viral in Samoa
A year 12 student at Vaimauga College was left with bruises to her face after allegedly being assaulted by a teacher.
Today, a concerned resident wants action taken to the abuse of students by teachers.
“The families of that student you beat up at your school today will come after you all,” wrote Merita Timu in a public Facebook comment. “Not all parents are fools. It's your responsibility to teach, not to beat them.”
The comment attracted dozens of responses, including some from teachers at the school.
Ms. Timu printed out the public comments, in colour, and gave them to the Samoa Observer.
Contacted for a comment, the Chief Executive Officer of the Minisry of Education, Sports and Culture, Matafeo Falanaipupu Aiafi said they had not received any complaints about the incident.
But Ms. Timu said she was told about the assault by students who witnessed the incident at school. Family members turned up at the school on the same day the teacher assaulted the student, from Magiagi, but the gates were already locked, she said.
Comments made by teachers online appear to confirm the incident.
“... da involvd teachr is my co-workr (assistance) in da mentiond claz. im also putting myself into hr situation,” wrote a Facebook user calling herself Anny Alexander.
“... u were nt there during da incidnt .. bt da eye witnez r da studnts (claz) n they told da whole truth...”
The teenager is from class 2 of the college’s Year 12 student body. Reports about the assault emerged after Leilani Pone, a concerned resident rang the Samoa Observer from New Zealand to complain about the comments she had read online.
Contacted for a comment, Ms. Timu said that other students witnessed the assault and told her about it later.
“They say that the teacher gave the student a hiding because she turned up late at school - even though she told the teacher that it was because of her assignment. The student kept answering back then that’s how they ended up having a fight.”
After hitting the student, the teacher took her to the Principal who allegedly told the teacher to hit her again, hard enough to leave her with bruises to her face.
The reported assault is the latest in a series of incidents involving assaults on students by teachers, with one teacher convicted of assault on four students, and sentenced to two years in jail.
This fact was highlighted by Ms. Timu in the online debate about the Vaimauga assault.
Ms. Alexander called for greater input from parents, saying there was no active parent committee for the school.
“Please! To all the chiefs of Vaimauga, elect a (parents) committee for your school. Not only do we have to teach them in school but have to put up with them acting like pigs.”
Her comments were backed by another teacher, commenting publicly.
“There is no PTA organisation in Vaimauga College..its just bcoz every year, the principal and teachers trying to raise that but parents disagree and neva support anefing,” said Patience Faith Malaga.
“We knw it wen it comes to the time to pick up the reports, the majority of parents neva turned up to pick up their kids’ report.”
She told Ms. Timu to “conduct a miniresearch about the matter, there are things you need to consider, students nowadays are naughty and have no respect at all.”
Ms. Timu told the Samoa Observer she was speaking on behalf of any parent that went through the same situation.
“I, myself as a parent do send my kid to school expecting that teachers will teach, not beat him”
“Plan B, send a message to their parents regards their child’s behaviour, C and D, suspend or expel”
A third teacher calling herself Twinaz Margaret Jaz Nielsen wrote online that “when we are trying to teach them they answer and swear back at us.”
She dismissed questions about whether there is an official policy to not touch students.
“Officials from the Ministry of Education are there for themselves only, these people just hang around and do nothing. They are not facing up what is happening inside school, because they are not with the kids.”
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