LIHUE — A Kapaa High School student was detained Tuesday morning after allegedly making threats to students’ safety.
The 15-year-old, unnamed male student was detained Tuesday by Kauai police and could face charges of terroristic threatening. The juvenile was released to his parents and is not formally charged at this time.
Kauai Police Department and state Department of Education investigations are underway.
“According to police, on Monday the student allegedly made threats that alarmed the school and another male student after being taunted on campus,” said Kim Tamaoka, spokesperson for the County of Kauai.
Both Kapaa High School and Kapaa Elementary School remained open Monday and Tuesday. They were not placed on lockdown, and there was an unrelated and planned evacuation drill at Kapaa Middle School.
After school officials investigated the threat, police were notified and eventually detained the student, who resides in Wailua.
“The juvenile was detained prior to the start of school (Tuesday) and there was no active threat to public safety,” Tamaoka said.
In a letter to parents and guardians, Kapaa High School Principal Daniel Hamada said the safety of students and staff is of the highest priority, and officials contacted KPD as soon as they knew about the threat.
“Based on our investigations, there was no imminent threat to the campus,” he said.
All threats against the school, students and staff are taken seriously and investigated, the letter states.
“Terroristic threats are considered Class A student conduct offenses. Penalties can range from detention to dismissal with the possibility of arrest and serious criminal charges,” he said.
No formal charges have been brought up against the student who allegedly made the threat, at this time.
“Terroristic threatening is a very serious crime and it should never be taken lightly,” said KPD Deputy Chief Michael Contrades. “We cannot stress enough that these crimes hold consequences and if you hear of a threat being made, please report it to police immediately.”
Because the incident is still being investigated by KPD, the Department of Education would not comment on the incident, however, their website states, “in concert with our law enforcement partners, the community should be aware that threats of violence about our students or campuses, online or otherwise are criminal.”
The DOE says it encourages parents to have conversations with their children about healthy online behavior.
“The well-being of our students is a community effort and we appreciate your help as we work together to keep all our students safe,” Hamada said in the letter.
Bethany Freudenthal, courts, crime and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.