Catholic schoolgirl's sex causes Samoa turmoil

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 14:01 12/08/2011

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A sexually explicit video made by a teenage girl which then found its way onto the internet has created turmoil in Samoa with the Catholic Church issuing a national apology.

The 16-year-old, known as ''Spidergirl'', has been expelled from the prestigious St Mary's College in Vaimoso, Apia.

The head of Catholic Education, Aeau Chris Hazelman, and Marist Sisters head Sister Emanuela Betham went on Samoa Television to issue a televised apology to the nation.

Aeau said the incident was a ''harsh lesson'' for all students, not just Catholics.

Although the girl's name has not been publicly released, it is widely known.

Street fighting between school students in Apia earlier this week was ''purely and specifically caused because students from other schools had made insulting comments to St Mary's girls about the video'', Aeau said.

The Talamua website said the girl had made the film with her cell phone, and quoted one of her friends as saying the girl was rebellious.

''She was trying to teach her boyfriend a lesson when she found out that the boyfriend was also courting her best friend,'' the website said, adding that the boyfriend was suspected of having circulated the clip on the internet.

The friend revealed that the girl's father had shown up at St Mary's and beaten her up in front of other girls.

The college was reported to be suffering public humiliation over the scandal with parents saying their daughters were now reluctant to show up in school.

Talamua reported there were now fears that ''Spidergirl'' would be banished from her family and her village.

The daily Samoa Observer said the Year 12 student had previously been in trouble and was on a final warning.

''Once this video of her was found last week on the school compound the decision to expel her was finalised,'' Aeau told the newspaper.

''We have dealt with alcohol, poor sportsmanship, teenage relationships and many other scenarios but this time we are dealing particularly with technology and how fast it spreads.''

The Observer said the school's Parents and Teachers Association had met, concerned with the young girl's safety and well being.

The school's nuns were visiting the girl and counselling her.

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