Honolulu police returned to James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach Thursday after arresting a juvenile for terroristic threatening.
Police tell us the juvenile threatened another child and that a weapon was not involved.
Officers patrolled the campus Wednesday after the school was alerted to a threat on social media. The message warned other students that a person was going to bring a gun to school.
According to a letter sent home to parents, “a social media post to Twitter containing threatening language against James Campbell High School was brought to the attention of administrators” late Tuesday night.
Officials notified police and posted the following message to the Ewa Beach school’s website:
Parents, guardians and students:
We are aware of a recent post to Twitter and are working with HPD to address the issue. We have made contact with the student who posted the message and will investigate the matter fully. Once again we implore students to use social media responsibly. School will be open tomorrow (8/19/15) and police officers will be on campus to assist school administration. Consequences will be issued to those found to be in violation of cyberbullying or other Chapter 19 violations. HPD will determine whether arrests are warranted.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel safe, because I thought the boy going come to school and do all this kind stuff,” said student Frank Ortega.
“I was worried about it and I texted my son and he said to pick him up, so I decided to pick him up right away,” said parent Cynthia Ortega.
“If there is a legitimate threat to our campuses, we want to make sure police are notified and that we secure our campuses and make sure it’s safe for students and staff,” said Donalyn Dela Cruz, communications director for the Department of Education.
Alerts from the school were posted online and officials directly notified parents by phone Wednesday morning after school began.
Shortly after, KHON2 saw some parents come to campus to pick up their kids.
“I think we’re always going to look and try to see the best possible way to get information out, but again, like with these situations, we always want to try to make sure what is factual,” said Campbell vice principal Shayne Greenland.
The DOE says school officials do teach kids about appropriate social media use and that includes ethical behavior and responsibilities. They tell students how one post can spread quickly and whenever there’s a threat and however it’s made, it’s checked out and police are called.
“What is the DOE’s protocol or policy when they hear of these kinds of threats?” KHON2 asked.
“It’s really interesting, because we can’t keep up with the type of technology and applications that are out there,” Dela Cruz said.
The DOE also said if a parent or student hears about a threat, they should not post it to social media.
“If there’s a threat against someone else and they know it and they think this is serious, they should call police and let them know about it. If it’s something dealing with the school campus, they should definitely call the principal,” Dela Cruz said.
Some students were kept home Wednesday and others were picked up early. Greenland said those absences will be excused.