Kualapu’u School News Release
Blissfully unaware of the danger, a group of 5-year-olds are taking turns on the playground slide while another group of 7-year-old students dart across the schoolyard playing tag.
Suddenly, gunshots ring out through the air, the playground is evacuated and the school goes into lockdown. Unfortunately this is not a scenario from Sandy Hook Elementary or Columbine High School, it is happening right here on Molokai at Kualapu’u Elementary School.
Thankfully, the targets in these incidents are deer and not children, but it still presents a danger to our students. Several times each school year, including once in the past week, poachers on adjacent properties have been shooting during the school day near the school. In one incident several students actually witnessed the deer falling dead and being retrieved by two hunters behind the school.
These incidents not only pose a danger for our students and staff, but also disrupt the learning process. Each time this happens the police are called and students must remain in safe locations until the police deem it safe to return to regular operations.
Police have responded quickly to every incident, but it continues to happen. Surrounding property owners have confirmed that this gunfire is indeed poachers who do not have permission to hunt on their properties.
We must take precautions with each incident to ensure the safety of our students. Children should never have to hear gunshots while they are at school. Kualapu’u School administration understands that hunting is a way of life on Molokai, but on behalf of our students, staff and parents we plead with you not to hunt during school hours.
Students are on campus from 7 a.m. and sometimes until 5 p.m. or later on weekdays. The community’s support and cooperation with this matter is most appreciated.