The director of Catholic Education in Samoa says inter-school fighting is one of the reasons for taking a tougher stance on bullying.
Prefects at Don Bosco, a Catholic technical institution, on Friday finished a six-day suspension after an assault on a fellow student last week for which they all claimed responsibility.
Nearly all of the school's Year Four, 35 students, walked out in protest at the punishment handed to the prefects and they too were given suspensions of six days.
Aeau Chris Hazelman says the link between bullying and inter-school brawls in public places was identified several years ago and is why bullies are dealt with more harshly now.
He says class leaders in Catholic schools are told that under no circumstances are they to lay a hand on students and suspension or expulsion are the penalities for bullying.