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DPS and DHSS investigating a video that has sparked outrage

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Footage shows the assault of a little boy by an alleged high school student

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Department of Human and Social Services director Muavaefaatasi John Suisala confirmed to Samoa News Sunday afternoon that his department has received a copy of the video posted on social media that has sparked outrage from people all over the world, specifically Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, and the US — areas where there is a high concentration of Samoan residents.

The video is recorded on a page belonging to a young woman whose profile says she attended Tafuna High School and is a soldier in the US Army. (Samoa News discovered from several sources at DOE that the girl is in fact a senior at Tafuna High School and the Facebook page under her name — from where the video surfaced — has been deleted off the social media site).

The recording showed a young boy being slapped around by an unidentified woman, presumed to be the page owner, although her face was never on screen.

A reader forwarded to Samoa News on Sunday a copy of a comment that said the video was forwarded to DHSS and Child Protective Services by a concerned citizen in New Zealand who saw the video online. Muavaefaatasi told Samoa News that DHSS is now acting on it, along with the Department of Public Safety.

And because it is now an active case, no further information can be released at this time.

In the meantime, it is unclear if the girl’s parents have been notified or if the boy has been picked up by social workers. Some people have jumped in and defended the act, via comments on Facebook. Some say it is the “Samoa way of disciplining” while others claim that the two are siblings, and the assault was just them “playing around”.