King George VI School principal clarifies action
PRINCIPAL of state-owned King George Sixth School Samuel Fangata has admitted he slapped students who were disrespectful and deliberately broke school rules.
But he denied swearing at them.
Mr Fangata was at the centre of social media discussions in the past days after it was revealed he slapped some of his students.
But the principal said he did what he did after the students reacted and showed total disrespect to him.
Form six students the Solomon Star spoke to this week claimed one incident that occurred last month, was unbelievable and surprising.
“He (principal) walked straight into our room, kicked open the door and slapped every one of us who were in the room at that time,” one of the students said.
“He was doing that without saying a word.
“He squeezed the neck of one of our colleagues and pushed him against the wall.
“The principal also put his hand under the jaw of another student and lifted him up,” the student claimed.
He said they wanted Mr Fangata removed from King George Sixth School.
But Mr Fangata, while admitting the incident late last month, said the students exaggerated the story.
He said the truth was that two form six students were consuming kwaso (home brew) in their room with their friends who were outsiders, and were playing loud music.
“This was around 3am and they were causing great disturbances to the school.
“To make it worse, they brought in two outsiders who were students of Betikama Adventist College.
“When I entered their room, they reacted towards me and that’s when I lost my temper and slapped them,” Mr Fangata explained.
He said the behaviour of these students concerned were beyond what any teacher would expect of his or her students.
“Consumption of alcohol in school dormitories is against our rules.
“These students displayed gross negligence and blatantly broke the school rules.
“As head of this school, I have a duty to uphold the school rules in order to protect the integrity and status of the school.
“Discipline at King George Sixth had spiraled down in recent years so I am trying my best to restore it.”
Mr Fangata said the majority of students are good and behaved well.
“It’s just a few who are causing these problems.
“I have a duty to restore discipline at the school and guide students to become better citizens of our country.”
On accusations he switched off lights while students were studying at night in their classroom, Mr Fangata said he took that action because it was already late at night.
“Students are only allowed to study in classrooms till 10.30pm.
“After that, they have to retire to their dorms.
“On this occasion, when I came around to check on the classrooms after 10.30pm, I noticed these students were still in there.
“I told them to leave because it was already late.
“But instead of obeying what I told them, some of them reacted and talked back at me.
“I responded by switching off the lights and slapped the students concerned,” he said.
However, Mr Fangata said he had already reconciled with the students he slapped during this incident and that the matter was now water under the bridge.
He assured parents that he was not the kind of person as had been portrayed in some of the social media postings.
“Parents should not be worried because I am trying my best to train your children to become good citizens.
“I can only call for your cooperation and understanding,” Mr Fangata said.
By STEPHEN DIISANGO