Public, private schools defend decision to shut down - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Public, private schools defend decision to shut down

Patrick Downes Patrick Downes
School Superintendent Pat Hamamoto School Superintendent Pat Hamamoto

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The high wind warning caused nearly all of Hawaii's public and private schools to shut down Friday.

No one could be found at Blanche Pope Elementary in Waimanalo. Other campuses, except those on the Big Island, were just as deserted.

The state Department of Education says it had been following the storm with National Weather Service and civil defense officials since Tuesday.

Catholic schools, such as Damien Memorial, say they also made the decision to close Friday based on advice from the experts.

"The kids got a four-day weekend," Patrick Downes, Catholic Diocese of Honolulu spokesperson, said. "No, Carmen's whole thing, or the superintendent, Ms. Himenez, her whole point here is that you have to err on the side of safety."

"At the time the decision was made, it was windy," Pat Hamamoto, state schools superintendent, said. "The alert was there. Civil defense was very concerned. The National Weather Service had a very, you know, a report that said definitely that this was something that we can't just look the other way."

Classes are expected to resume Tuesday after the Martin Luther King holiday.

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