Security at schools questioned - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Security at schools questioned

Randy Moore Randy Moore
Al Carganilla Al Carganilla
Norman Sakamoto Norman Sakamoto

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAHIAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Police are still looking for two suspects wanted in an alleged sexual assault and robbery of a Wahiawa Elementary School teacher.

The incident has prompted questions regarding security procedures at schools. Wahiawa Elementary principal Troy Tamura says they're working on a security plan.

But he wouldn't say what's in it.

Still, other schools are taking a harder look at their safety procedures in light of Monday's alleged assault.

It's a letter no parent wants to see. It was sent home with students explaining yesterday's alleged sex assault on a 59-year-old teacher.

While some parents feel the school did a good job with keeping kids safe, others aren't so certain about that.

For instance, a lockdown, which wasn't implemented.

The school says one wasn't needed because no students were present at the time of the incident.

"A lockdown is executed when there is a danger, somebody dangerous on campus, looks dangerous, acts dangerously," Assistant Superintendent of Schools Randy Moore said.

Moore said each school has its own safety plan that addresses day to day issues, among other things.

"We always review those kinds of things, so as a staff we remind them if they come early to take proactive steps like closing their doors," Farrington High principal Al Carganilla said.

Besides being Farrington's principal, Carganilla also has experience at the elementary level.

"That was one of the biggest things that we did encourage teachers to come after 7:00, 7:15, we also encourage our parents, we did tell our parents that supervision didn't start until 7:30, so we encourage them to bring them after," he said.

Farrington High has eight security personnel, one at each of the three entrances.

But is that enough?

"There's never enough personnel to feel comfortable, you just never know, it was such an unfortunate incident, that we begin to reflect on our own school as to how we better our security," Carganilla said.

Norman Sakamoto has been the Senate Education Committee chairman for a decade.

He touts volunteerism.

"Perhaps Lions Club members could step up and say, we'll do a community patrol, we'll take turns at getting up at 4 a.m., instead of walking over there, we'll walk around the school campus," he said.

Whatever the solution, Moore said it's a lesson we all can learn from.

"Yesterday's event has definitely brought that discussion back up to the forefront and emphasized, we really need to be careful in all circumstances," Moore said.

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