LIHUE — A student at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School allegedly made threats against the school and its students Thursday, prompting a police investigation and increased security on campus the following day.
The middle school’s administration was “made aware last night of an alleged threat to our campus on social media,” Kauai District Superintendent Bill Arakaki said in an email to the middle school’s staff early Friday morning.
The parent of a Chiefess student, who asked that her name be withheld out of concern for her child’s safety, said police showed up at her house late at night to question her child, who rode the school bus Thursday with the student suspected of making the threat.
“The cops came at 1:30 in the morning,” the woman said. “Some kid said he was gonna shoot up the school, after showing some pretty radical videos to kids on the bus.”
Arakaki’s email did not specify what the student is alleged to have posted on social media, but said, “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.”
According to the letter to school staff, the Kauai Police Department was contacted immediately, the suspect was identified and questioned, and an investigation is ongoing.
“The safety of our child is of utmost importance and a security plan has been initiated out of an abundance of caution,” Arakaki wrote. “Additional department security and School Resource Office will be present on campus throughout the day. School will be open with no changes to the schedule.”
The letter continued: “We encourage parents to speak with their child(ren) about making the right choices and the potential consequences of their actions. We urge all students and families to refrain from reposting threats and/or rumors online. According to law enforcement, reposting a threat is as good as making the threat itself and contributes to prolonging the event.”
In response to TGI’s inquiries on the matter, KPD Chief Todd Raybuck issued the following statement:
“The Kauai Police Department takes all threats involving our schools seriously. KPD will thoroughly investigate each incident and take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our keiki and school staff. I would like to thank those that notified KPD regarding this incident and encourage our community to continue to report any threats of violence in our schools.”