Ads by Google Ads by Google

Second break-in at Tafuna High School this month; third this year

Tafuna High School sign

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  Students, teachers and administrators at Tafuna High School, along with parents have raised serious concerns over the safety of the school campus after-hours following a second break-in this month, the third one this year.

Three sets of parents told Samoa News this week that they hope the government will hire night security guards to patrol the campus after hours or come up with some alternative solution to this “serious problem.”

The latest break-in occurred sometime between Mar. 25- 26, affecting one of the classrooms. Police were contacted.

The culprit(s) “broke the door and nothing really was taken but it seems like they were looking for money since they did not bother to take any devices,” wrote principal Tutuila Togilau in an email to the school’s PTA president William Spitzenberg and copied to Tualauta Rep. Larry Sanitoa.

Togilau inquired about the status of surveillance cameras for the school. “I think we really need a night security,” she said, noting that students are getting active towards the end of the school year.

(Togilau had informed Sanitoa early this month that the culprits of last month’s break-in “vandalized the surveillance cameras” and the company that installed it, is not longer in business.)

In his response, Spitzenberg said the PTA is looking into the cost of installing a security system for the school office and this will be discussed during an upcoming PTA meeting. He asked what happened to DPS providing after hours security for the school?

“While DPS has agreed to increase patrolling of the school compound, unfortunately, they cannot be there 24/ 7,” was Sanitoa’s email response to Spitzenberg and Togilau — both were informed that Sanitoa had already spoken to police.

Sanitoa says he is working with the Criminal Justice Planning Agency to look at possibilities of federal grants to purchase new security cameras.

He suggested that the PTA look into temporarily hiring a security guard, especially on the weekends, while the Education Department continues to look at some sustainable funding for a long-term solution.