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DOE awaits DPS investigation on sports related violence

Education Department director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau plans to announce early next week when she will allow school sports to resume, while DOE is trying to substantiate information on incidents involving students.


DOE has suspended all sports activities indefinitely following the stoning of a school bus last week that resulted in injuries to three volleyball players from Tafuna High School. This incident followed two others — where rocks were thrown into the gyms of Leone High School and Tafuna High School on separate occasions during volleyball matches.


However, a new incident surfaced Monday at the Tafuna airport where a fight broke out among students.


Vaitinasa said yesterday that she had hoped the “suspension” time for DOE sports competition “would calm things down a bit” and then she heard there was an alleged “outbreak of students fighting Monday night” at the airport, and a separate incident where a female wearing a Fagaitua High School shirt was allegedly beaten up at Laufou Shopping Center.


“We are trying to substantiate some of these incidents involving students,” she said, and is sure that the local authorities are fully investigating the alleged beating of a female at Laufou.


In the meantime, the DOE director said, “I am still waiting for a definite list of students and families who will be held accountable for personal injuries and damages to the bus in the recent sports violence incidents between Fagaitua High School and Tafuna High School.”


She also said DOE is reviewing “our sports related policies to re-emphasize the implementation to all employees and students in DOE.” She plans to hold a meeting with all Parent/Teacher Association officers to set up a plan where they can assist in monitoring and supervising students before, during and especially after the games.


Next Monday, Sept. 30, Vaitinasa plans to hold a new conference to announce when DOE will resume sports competitions. 


Vaitinasa said over the weekend that when school sports do resume, they will be held only during daylight hours.




Vaitinasa also revealed she has been invited to a Sua County Coalition meeting at 9a.m. tomorrow at Fagatogo Square and she is “happy that traditional government is stepping in. This is what I wanted to see.”


“They have asked that I be there to provide information, etc. It appears that this will be a meeting where we will discuss concrete things this County can do to resolve this problem [of school violence] in their location,” she said. “If all the county leaders would step up to the plate, their decision will filter down to the villages, and then down to the families who need help helping their children.”