Parents offer solutions to student fighting

By Diedre Fanene ,

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THE VIOLENCE: Scenes from the fight on Thursday.

THE VIOLENCE: Scenes from the fight on Thursday. (Photo: Orlando Crawley. )

The Savalalo market has become something of a boxing venue for some students who gather there to catch buses on their way home from school.

Various solutions to the problem have been offered by adults and parents including bringing back corporal punishment, passing the problem onto the village matai to deal with, police lashing and stricter supervision at the bus stop.

Some adults are reportedly now sacred to go there because they know they could get hurt from the fights especially when the students are using rocks to hit other students.

An elderly father from the village of Malie, Mose Maualaivao told the Samoa Observer that there is a lot that needs to be done but at the end of the day it is the students who are at fault.

“The problem falls on the kids themselves,” he said with disappointment.

“Parents send them to school to get a better future; teachers are doing their jobs by teaching them but it’s them (students) who decide to do this.

“These kids needs a really good (fasi) spanking and that’s where we need to bring back the old ways like corporal punishment in schools.”

Mr. Maualaivao said that back in the days when teachers were allowed to spank students, this problem of fighting in public wasn’t really an issue. “Yes there were schools that would fight but it wasn’t as bad as it is nowadays,” he said.

“Back in the days, it was hardly ever, maybe once or twice a year but now look it’s an everyday problem, and these stupid kids are not the only ones affected by what they are doing, there are adults who are affected by their stupidity.”

The elderly said it is because of the lack of discipline.

“Most of the children who are causing this are the ones who never went to school, or they dropped out of school,” he claimed.

“So they think its okay to cause all of these problems but little do they know that this shows how stupid and small their brains are.

“So these are the kinds of kids who need a good hiding from their elders so that they would get into their heads that what they are doing is wrong.”

Mr. Maualaivao said in solving these problems this is where the matais and the pulega a nuu come in.

“Obviously these kids don’t care whether they get locked up or not, because when they come back out they will do it again,” he said.

“[But] what if we changed that, what if we say that these kids’ parents and families will be affected by this?

“I mean the matais should have a law that if these kids fight in public then they get a warning but if they don’t listen then their whole family and parents will be banned from the village.

“In that way, they will get it through their heads that they will not be the only ones that will be affected but their family as well. Maybe that will stop them from doing all of this nonsense.

“They will be scared to do anything stupid because they don’t want their family to be affected by their actions.”

Another disappointed mother spoke to the Weekend Observer on the condition of anonymity because she said most of the kids that started the fight on Thursday were idiots.

“Parents, teachers, guardians and everyone who are related to these kids never told them to go and fight or do such things,” she said.

“No! These doings are all of their own because they think that they are all that when they fight in public but little do they know they are belittling their families.

“The first thing people will ask is, “Whose son is that? Where does he come from? or “ I wonder if their parents discipline them?”

“To be honest if these were my children only God knows what I will do to them I will probably tie them up and spank them and I could care less if I go to jail as long as the message gets through their heads.”

The Managing Director of ADRA and a matai, Su’a Julia Wallwork said it is because of the peer pressure of the students that is causing all of this.

“The teachers and their parents are not telling them to go do these kinds of things but it is them, they are in this circle that when they see their friends get into a fight they have this mentality of protecting their friends but it’s just wrong,” she said.

“Once the kids exit from the environment of their families they get this outside influence from other students, and what they see.

“Sometimes it’s almost like a mass hysteria when this happens, when they all get involved because it’s happening at that moment and they are there.”

And should corporal punishment in schools be brought back?

 Su’a said it wouldn’t make a difference.

“That discipline will apply when the students are in the classrooms and when they are in the compound but this happens while they are outside of the school compound,” she said.

“So there should be stricter monitoring at bus stops to ensure all the students get on the bus and all the schools should be united in what should be done.”

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