15 Sep 2011

American Samoa's public defender proposes school for at-risk students

5:12 pm on 15 September 2011

American Samoa's public defender says she believes a high school for at risk students needs to be created in the territory.

Ruth Risch Fuatagavi addressed lawmakers at her office's budget review yesterday, calling on them to look at establishing a high-school for students with behavioural problems.

She says suspended students find it hard enrolling in other schools.

"By the time they get to my door, there's very little that I can do. We need a campus that is a secure and closed campus where these children at risk can attend that campus. Schools try to keep them out of their schools because they don't want them to be disruptive or to be problematic, but these children need a place to go to school."

Ruth Risch Fuatagavi and her office manage about 350 to 400 juvenile cases - more than double that of a year ago when the Prevent Underage Drinking law was introduced.