LIHUE — When an anonymous threat interrupted classes at a Kapaa school Oct. 18, it was the fifth such incident in the past month and the second in two days.
Since, many in the community have expressed concerns, leading Kauai Police Chief Todd Raybuck to issue a statement Friday.
“In light of the recent threats made toward Kauai’s public schools, the Kauai Police Department recognizes the need for officials to work together in establishing revised assessments and procedures for responding to school threats.
“Lockdowns and evacuations are appropriate protocols for active and imminent threats. While we must continue to take all threats seriously, we also recognize that not all threats are legitimate and continuing school lockdowns for unconfirmed threats can have a negative and lasting impact on students, parents, and the community.
“For these reasons, we are encouraging school officials to work together with KPD in establishing revised procedures that follow a criteria-based response to threats. By incorporating an additional procedural assessment for unconfirmed and non-credible threats, our department believes it will lessen the psychological and emotional impact of those involved.
“We understand this has been a very trying time for our community and we sincerely empathize with all who are struggling in the aftermath of these recent events. Please be assured that KPD’s investigations have verified there were no imminent threats to the safety and security of students and faculty at any time during those events.
“Additionally, individuals identified in these incidents are being held accountable when it is appropriate as each investigation continues. However, we ask the public for their understanding that KPD cannot divulge the details of any information and consequences pertaining to juveniles.
“Lastly, while we as officials can make every attempt to improve our response to threats as they occur, we ultimately need the community’s help. We strongly urge all parents and guardians to take this opportunity to talk to their children about the seriousness of making threats against another person or school. Terroristic threatening of any degree is a very serious crime that carries serious consequences.”