Fiji Government Condemns Student Brawl On Bus

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Second incident in days criticized by education official

By Lavenia Vuadreu

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Oct. 2, 2012) – Fiji’s Ministry of Education permanent secretary Brij Lal has described the street fights between students of Suva Grammar (SGS) and Marist Brothers High School (MBHS) as a disgrace.

The second incident happened yesterday, despite police warning following a similar incident four days ago that landed a student in hospital.

He said students "should be matured enough to make the right decisions."

Lal also pleaded with parents to play a more active role in monitoring their children as soon as they leave the school gates.

"This is not good. Students should learn to live peacefully," Lal said.

He commended the work by the heads of the two schools and the police in stepping in to question and possibly discipline those involved.

When asked on the possible penalties that will be dished out to students involved and is expulsion from school is warranted, Lal neither confirmed nor denied saying a team from the Education Ministry has been set up to look into the matter and will try and work out a solution that is "best for everyone."

Fiji Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed to FijiLive that the recent incident happened at 4:30pm yesterday afternoon at Bau Street where a group of MBHS students entered a school bus carrying SGS and Veiuto students home from school

"One suspect, with particulars not known, assaulted an 18 and 17-year-old, both students of Suva Grammar School, and also damaged the rear glass of the said bus," Naisoro said.

The estimated cost of damages to the bus is around FJ$600 [US$337] and both victims have been issued medical reports. Investigations continue in both cases.

The two schools have been known for their rivalries.

It is unclear when and how the first fight started, but in 2003 students and teachers of the two schools reconciled after a fight involving two other schools in 2002.

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