Some teachers opt to leave Lahaina schools amid ongoing safety concerns

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Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:33 AM HST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 12:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over three months since the devastating wildfires ravaged parts of Maui, Lahaina’s schools continue to struggle to help children feel safe — and some teachers there are choosing to leave.

At hearings with the Board of Education and in the state House, school officials were questioned about what they are doing to restore a sense of security, both financially and emotionally.

“The Department of Education isn’t doing what they need to do to ensure school safety and the government’s not doing anything to ensure housing safety,” said Catherine Aure, a former Lahaina teacher.


Some students say fears — especially with weather alerts — remain and having a proactive plan would help.

“Students are still afraid to face a red flag warnings,” said Lahainaluna student Lavinia Tuitofa Tuavao-Tupou. “It could be like school wide drills. And so we don’t have to keep worrying about all these issues.”

DOE officials said because of the wildfires, they are reviewing safety and evacuation programs at many schools.

State lawmakers urged them to make the plans public so that families and staff can make suggestions and contribute to the solutions.