Stakeholders, Talk To Students. Let’s Have An Accident-Free Coke Games: Akbar

Burning, tearing of school flags raise concerns following viral video.
10 Mar 2020 09:49
Stakeholders, Talk To Students. Let’s Have An Accident-Free Coke Games: Akbar
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Rosy Akbar.

The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Rosy Akbar, has urged teachers, parents and school prefects to talk to students and steer them in the right direction.

It comes after a video of students from a school appeared to be tearing up the flag of another school.

While she had not seen the video Ms Akbar said: “I hope that we have an incident-free Coke Games, but like every other year, we have incidences and involving students where there is unruly behaviour from them in buses and in the pavilions.”

The video that had gone viral online saw some Suva Grammar School students tearing up a Marist Brothers High School flag after their win at the Suva Zone Two athletics competition last week.

The video attracted a lot of attention, and degrading comments were made against the students.

Former students respond

President of the Suva Grammar Old Scholars Association, Stanley Ian Simpson, on his Facebook post, said he was also in possession of a similar video, but in which the situation was reversed.

“I have a video of Marist boys tearing the Grammar flag similar to your video of Grammar boys tearing a Marist flag. Both unacceptable.”

Mr Simpson said it was best that this matter was left to the teachers to guide the students toward the right behavior and character.

He also asked for the video to be put down and not shared as the comments made on it were nasty and hateful.

“There are people commenting on the post and sharing the video saying nasty and hateful things against the 14 and 15-year-olds,” Mr Simpson said.

“Let’s condemn that. Let’s not sow more hate and anger between the schools – when senior prefects from both schools had worked together to handle the challenging task of maintaining order in a very competitive zone.”

Tura Lewai, an old scholar of Marist Brothers High School, on his Facebook post, had apologised for sharing the video.

“I would like to apologise to the Grammar stakeholders and family. I will take this up with the school and ensure the students are dealt with,” Mr Lewai’s wrote.

He said his intention was not to undermine the opposing school’s victory in the competition but to bring light to the issue, which should be addressed.

“Flag burning or tearing are one of the utter most shows of disrespect and hate, and we cannot and should be allowing this act to continue,” Mr Lewai said.

“I hope that we can deal with this amongst ourselves through our different former schools.”

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said no report was lodged to the Police.

She added more officers, including a K9 and Special Response Unit, would be deployed during the Coke Games in April to avoid such incidents.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro


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