There were tense situations for administrators at Lunalilo Elementary School in the McCully area, as well as for parents and guardians of students there, as the school went on lockdown for several hours as authorities searched for escaped murder suspect Teddy Munet.
The scene was repeated at several other public and private schools. The Department of Education said Central Middle and Royal Elementary Schools initiated lockdowns at 9:45 a.m. as a precaution. Those two schools are close to circuit court, where the escape occurred.
In all, a total of nine public schools were under lockdown or were under a heightened alert. Several private and charter schools in the area also went under lockdown while the search went on.
"When we called the lockdown, it was smooth as silk, and the kids got right in their places, and I was very pleased with the teachers and the kids' responses," said Voyager Charter School Principal Mary Beth Barr.
At Lunalilo, parents waiting to pick up their kids had to wait. Students were supposed to be released at 12:45 p.m., but didn't get out until close to 2 p.m.
"Although parents may have been inconvenienced by the release time, our whole priority was to keep the students safe," said Lunalilo Vice Principal Ricky Shimokawa.
"Knowing that my child is safe, that's a good thing," said one parent as she waited. "But at the same time, it's crazy because there's that person running around."
Maury Duque had to wait for his grandsons at Voyager Charter School. "I think they did an excellent job," he said when asked about how the school reacted. "Even when I went to the gate they wouldn't let me in. It's a good thing my daughter called earlier to let them know that I was going to pick them up, so it went pretty smoothly."
The DOE said the other public schools let their students out at their regular dismissal time.