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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Sept. 29, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)---The American Samoa government's Department of Education has issued a firm "zero tolerance policy" on the presence of illegal drugs on all properties of the public education system.

DOE Director, Dr. Sili Sataua issued the policy on September 26, 2000. It will affect not only students but also administrators, teachers, principals and every employee of the department.

For students, the policies say that if pupils are found in violation, they are to be suspended while an investigation is under way. If a violation is proven, the student is to be expelled.

If any employee of the Department of Education is accused of a violation, he or she is to be promptly placed on administrative leave. If found guilty by a court, the employee will be terminated immediately and face prosecution.

"As the Director of the Department of Education, I am compelled to enforce a 'Zero Tolerance Policy' in dealing with students and personnel found in possession of; the use of; or selling of illegal drugs on any Department of Education premises," said the policy signed by Dr. Sataua.

In the meantime, Dr. Sataua said the agency was awarded $1 million in early September from the U.S. government to help built four new Early Childhood Education (ECE) centers. The four, two-story structures will be built in high enrollment areas of the territory.

Dr. Sataua said the centers will prepare and provide an environment whereby the students, mostly three- and four-year olds, will be exposed to formal learning at an early age.



By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (Sept. 29, 2000 - PIDP/CPIS)--Heavy rain did not deter more than 500 people from attending two separate grand-openings of the McDonald’s Restaurant in American Samoa on Friday, September 29.

The first opening, early in the day, was attended by about 100 government officials, business people, lawmakers, politicians, church ministers and Governor Tauese Sunia while the public was welcomed in the afternoon for the grand opening, which was broadcast over the radio.

The American Samoa franchise - owned and operated by TRT Corp. - is part of the Australia McDonald’s franchise. McDonald’s officials from the U.S. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji helped opened the fast food chain in the 120th country/territory on the globe.

Governor Tauese said the opening of McDonald’s in the territory is a "national day of pride."

The company hired and trained 100 locals while about 30 employees from the Fiji McDonald’s were on island to help with preparations for the grand opening and to train the local workforce.

TRT Corp. partner Rep. Agaoleatu Charlie Tautolo told reporters that the local workforce is getting paid between $3-$4 an hour. He promised that the new McDonald's outlet will meet its international reputation for providing quick, efficient, friendly and caring service to its customers.

At the grand-opening McDonald’s introduced their latest burger, called the Double Quarter Pounder, made specially for Samoans.

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