Vesi: Drugs in schools is not a joke nor rumor

Drugs are on school compounds, hidden in students school bags and this is not a joke” nor “rumor” according to a concerned Manu’atele Representative Vesi Talalelei Fautanu Jr

Vesi was speaking at a hearing of the House Education Committee which was prompted by concerns raised by various faipule.

Director of Education Dr. Ruth Matagi Tofiga appeared before the Committee.

Saole lawmaker Kitara Vaiau triggered the hearing with statements of concern about recent break ins at Leone high School and Leone Midkiff Elementary.

Rep. Fautanu brought up a lot of pressing issues with education including the existence of drugs in schools.

He shared that during a visit to a school that he didn’t name, when he asked the school’s security why he cannot stop students smoking on campus the security told him there’s nothing he can do about this as most teachers also smoke on campus.

Smoking is banned in public places.

The Manu’a representative suggested that all schools have health and welfare inspections where students school bags are searched before entering the schools.

Rep. Vesi said he could just imagine what would be discovered in the students bags if DOE has such inspections.

He suspected that most bags will have packets of cigarettes and he won’t be surprised if drugs and guns will be discovered.

Another issue that Vesi brought to the attention of the DOE Director was the shortage of school buses,

He said some students have to get up at about 3am and be on the road by 4:00am so they don’t miss the school bus.

For the Manu’a islands, the faipule suggested that vans would be more cost effective than the buses which take several months to get them fixed when they have problems.

Ituau Representative Sataua Dr. Mataese Samuelu, a former high school principal said DOE has been purchasing surplus school buses from the US Government and ASG ends up spending more money maintaining them.

He asked that the department look at purchasing brand new buses.

According to Representative Toeaina Faufano Autele some of the old broken down buses which have been sitting at the DOE depot in Tafuna for years have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.


8 Comments

  1. REAL ISSUE ABOUT TIME.

    THANK YOU REPRESENTATIVES FAUTANU AND VAIAU FOR PRESSING THIS ISSUE. YES DRUGS ARE NO LONGER A JOKE NEITHER A LAUGHING MATTER. IT IS ON SCHOOL CAMPUSES WITH THE BIGGEST QUESTION IN MIND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TO FIGHT THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE AFTER ALL IT S OUR CHILDRENS LIFE THAT IS AT STAKE. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ASG-DOE TRAINED AND HIRED DEPUTIZE POLICE OFFICERS WORKING AT SCHOOL CAMPUSES LIKE IN THE STATES. THESE OFFICERS CAN WORK TOGETHER WITH DPS AND DOE OFFICIALS TO COME UP WITH IDEAS TO FIGHT THIS UN CUREABLE DISEASE. THE KEY IS ENFORCEMENT. I’M SURE THAT THERE ARE FUNDING FROM USDOE THAT CAN HELP OUT, WE JUST NEED TO LOOK, USE IT ACCODINGLY, DOCUMENT THE USAGE OF FUND.

    I CAN RE CALL A WHILE BACK WE DIDIN’T THINK THAT ILLEGAL DRUGS WAS GOING TO HIT OUR TERRITORY NOW IT IS LIKE AN UN CUREABLE DISEASE AND IT IS SPREADING LIKE A WILD FIRE.

    OUR SCHOOLS SHOULD BE A COMMUNITY CONCERN. KNOWING RUTH TOFIGASHE WILL LOOK AT WAYS TO TAKE CARE OF THIS ISSUE.

    Reply
  2. Really Vesi?

    Really Rep? Who are you to tell us about drugs in the schools? There are NO SCHOOLS in the island of Tutuila that have drugs. ESPECIALLY Leone. We are the children of Tuitele and Faiivae. Do you hear me? THERE ARE NO DRUGS IN OUR VILLAGE!

    Reply
    1. REAL ISSUE ABOUT TIME.

      DRUGS ARE EVERY WHERE, LET’S DON’T IGNORE THIS ISSUE. WHY WAS LEONE SUB STATION INVOLVED BY A DRIVE BY SHOOTING. IY YOUR VILLAGE IS CLEAN FROM DRUGS THAN LOOK AT OTHER VILLAGESAND SCHOOL. DRUG IS A FAST SPREADING DISEASE AS IT MAY NOT HAPPEN TO YOUR VILLAGE NOW IT WILL SOON IF WE DO NOT COME UP WITH A SOLUTION AGAINST THIS ISSUE.

      Reply
  3. No'i

    Strong words from bunch of showmen! where was the outrage when two high school male students were found dead recently? Why wasn’t that an issue? Did you give a rip on how these situation would effect their fellow students, friends, and family? You didn’t provide or recommend counseling to students who may have been traumatized by the lost of these two young men! If it wasn’t for the Saole Rep. Kitara Vaiau raising this issue, it be mute! Too Little, Too Late! So now you plan to “stop and frisk” elementary students?…LOL! Be prepared for a mountain of lawsuits coming your way! How do you plan to implement this unconstitutional, illegal search of minors without their parent’s consent? Its easy to appear you know what you’re doing, the hard part is convincing others you do…

    Reply
  4. RANTING IN THE WIND!

    THE SECURITY GUARD SHOULD HAVE REPORTED THE TEACHERS IMMEDIATELY & NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT IS WORSE, FIRE HIM AND GET SOMEONE WITH INTEGRITY AND REAL CONCERN ABOUT OUR CHILDREN! SHAME ON THOSE TEACHERS (IF PROVEN TRUE) WHO WE ENTRUST OUR CHILDREN TO & IT SHOULDN’T BE TOLERATED & THEY SHOULD BE FIRED AS WELL. WHY CAN’T WE TRUST ANYONE IN GOVERNMENT ANY LONGER? WE JUST KEEP GETTING INEPT PEOPLE WHO ARE EITHER CORRUPT TO THE CORE OR MAKE BAD DECISIONS THAT NOT ONLY HURT US BUT OUR COUNTRY AS A WHOLE. ….MY FAITH IN A BETTER FUTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN IS DOWN THE DRAIN….THE NEW 13 MIL FERRY OPERATED FREE TILL (THE TOKEN $30.00 FARE….CARGO WAS FREE!!) IT’S RECENT TRIP BEFORE BEING LAID UP YET AGAIN! THERE ARE CONTINUING PROBLEMS WITH THE 6MIL SCANNERS BECAUSE THE IDIOT HEADING CUSTOMS HAS NO PRIOR QUALIFICATIONS TO RUN CUSTOMS NOR HOW THE EXTRA CHARGES IMPACTS BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS………ONE BAD DECISION AFTER ANOTHER AND THE FONO JUST SITS BLINDLY BY, ESSENTIALLY, RUBBER STAMPS FOR THE GOVERNOR. ALL THEY ARE GOOD FOR IS LOOKING IMPORTANT, GORGING & ENRICHING THEMSELVES AND ENJOYING COUNTLESS “BUSINESS” TRIPS ABROAD & WASTING TIME AND MONEY! IF KIDS ARE IN FACT BRINGING DRUGS TO SCHOOL OR ARE EXPOSED TO THEM ON THE COMPOUND, AN IMMEDIATE HONEST AND THOROUGH INVESTIGATION NEEDS TO BE DONE AND PERPETRATORS DEALT WITH SEVERELY!

    Reply
  5. Concerned parent

    There needs to be a starting point to protect our children. In my opinion drug test all government workers, especially law enforcement to include Immigration and Customs to root out the potential users, dealers and traffickers..

    A hot line with no caller ID to leave anonymous tips of dealers and or how drugs are being brought in with 2 trustworthy phone operators to ensure reports are not dumbed down, dismissed or swept under the rug.

    A multi-agency task force with zipped mouths to follow up on such reports with pay above the normal officers.

    Members of the public are too afraid to come forth with any information. American Samoa needs to take a tough stance on the dealers, traffickers and behind the scenes opportunists and benefactors allowing this to happen.

    Those that say it does not exist in their village are either naive or part of the problem.

    Reply
  6. Wake Up Call

    WAKE UP! The issue is not to defend your village by saying there are no drugs there! You must be blind. Drugs are everywhere on this island, and most definitely in all of our schools. Our children are being used as runners, pushers and sellers. They’re being lead astray by members of the community whom they look up to who are also involved in drugs. Parents you need to know what your kids are doing 24/7, who is approaching them and who they’re hanging out with. Teach them that even the people they most trust could try to ask them to do this and lure them with the attraction of making money. Don’t let any more deaths; especially our kids be the result of drugs taking over American Samoa.

    Reply

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