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Fighting along airport rd sets off call for police presence

Because of the many recurring fights among students who walk along the Airport road each day after school, Tualauta faipule Florence Vaili Saulo is appealing to the Commissioner of Public Safety William Bill Haleck to assign police officers to a specific area of the road.


Rep Saulo in her letter to the Commissioner noted that school fights and student safety have been at the forefront of various discussions, both public and private.


“As you know, we have been experiencing a wave of school related violence that sadly has resulted in injuries to some of our children. As someone who has been charged with advocating for the best interest of the people of Tualauta, I cannot stand by and watch our high school students engage in such behavior. I am certain that as the chief public safety officer of American Samoa you share my concerns.”


Saulo stated that last week, for three consecutive days, there were fights between high school students who walked along the Airport road area stretching from outside the Tafuna High School gate walking towards the Faga’ima intersection, across from the Triple S Gas Station.


“I am not sure how many high schools are involved but I am sure that these fights present a danger not only to these students but to the commuting public as well. There have been reports of rocks and other objects being used as missiles that have the potential of killing someone upon contact."


She continue, “And with crowds of children walking along that road at about the same time as these fights, it is not hard for someone to get seriously injured…”


The Tualauta faipule in her letter states that she’s “urgently requesting police presence along the Airport road at the time school is out.” She stated the Airport road becomes the meeting place for Tafuna High, Nu’uuli Poly Tech and Kanana Fou High School students at or about 2:00 in the afternoon.


“Not to mention elementary and lower level students and their parents within those crowds. With the recent tensions among these students, the smallest incident can spark a riot that can have fatal results," she wrote.


"With DPS officers present and constantly patrolling and supervising the crowds, there is a reduced chance for violence.” She concluded, the presence of such patrols should remain in place indefinitely, or at least until tensions have been removed.