Four public schools, Honokaa High and Intermediate, Honokaa Elementary, Waimea Elementary and Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School, were put on lockdown Monday morning after police received word of an anonymous threat.
The schools were locked down at about 10:30 a.m., according to Waimea Elementary Principal Marcella McClelland.
“We have very little information,” she said. “They are receiving phone calls at the police department with threats of several different natures. We’re kind of learning as we go, right now, what they are.
“… We’re keeping all of our children inside, even with the posting of the police officers, until we can get more information.”
Hamakua Police Capt. Richard Miyamoto said an unconnected third-party received a vague threat by either text or email and passed information along to police.
“In the ramblings of the thing, they had made a couple of mentions of the school, and out of courtesy, we passed on the information and they decided to go into that lockdown mode,” he said. “As far as any direct threat to the schools, at all, there is none, really that I can see, and I don’t believe they are in any kind of imminent danger or anything.”
McClelland and Honokaa High and Intermediate Vice Principal Alan Brown said a robo-call was made to parents.
“We have this all-call system we have to notify families,” McClelland said. “We have asked them to not come in to pick up their children at this time and to not tie up their phone lines by calling the school. As soon as we get an ‘all clear’ we will call them to inform them that our children are safe.”
Both said that officers were posted on campus.
“The children are all inside and everyone is safe,” Brown said.
Honokaa Elementary posted the following message on the school’s website: “Honokaa Elementary is currently on lockdown. A threat to our student safety was made to Honokaa Police. Honokaa Police and Fire are currently investigating. We will provide updates as we get more information. Your children are safe. Do not come to campus.”