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Kealakehe H.S. classes to resume Monday (Dec. 10)

(Photo courtesy of Visionary Video)


Classes at Kealaheke High School will resume on Monday, Dec. 10, with increased security on campus and extended instructional hours.

School faculty and staff met Friday to review the situations and actions that occurred during the last week and addressed plans for next week’s return of students.

School officials Thursday cancelled on-campus activities and classes for students in light of increased disruptions caused by at least three student fights over the course of two days.

To prevent the disorderly conduct from escalating, the school was temporarily on lockdown Wednesday afternoon and students were sent home early Thursday in increments.

The county Police Department is assisting school officials with security measures and reported making eight student arrests Thursday. Those students were released from police custody but face disciplinary actions that for some may include suspension.

An investigation into the disorderly conduct is ongoing.

School officials said the root of the arguments between students is a misunderstanding between local, Micronesian and Marshallese cultures and lifestyles.

“This misunderstanding of cultural assimilation by Marshallese and Micronesian families is not isolated to Kealakehe High School,” Complex Area Superintendent Arthur Souza said. “This is a community issue that we are addressing.”

Souza said he has been in discussions with lawmakers and local agencies about cultural assimilation and the misunderstandings that exist in the Kona community.

The Department of Education has temporarily assigned four additional security personnel to the Kealakehe High School campus.

“We want to thank the Hawaii Police Department and the Kealakehe High School faculty for their actions in ensuring a safe environment for students,” Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said. “What could have been explosive situation was contained and community issues that have played a role in the recent disruptions are being addressed. We also thank the parents for their understanding.”

Monday’s class schedule will be modified to accommodate Friday’s loss of instruction time. Aside from additional security, the school will also have counselors on hand to address harassment and bullying.

Parents are urged to contact school officials directly with any concerns.

Call Murakami at 327-4300 or 960-0459; Vice Principal Scott Tamura at 960-8766; or Vice Principal Tammy Furrer at 960-8036.

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