Coqui frog plan croaks
The idea was to have students catch the pests, but no one ran it past the schools
HILO » It sounded like a great opportunity to enlist some enthusiastic eradicators against the Big Island's coqui frog problem.
But a plan to deploy students as frog bounty hunters croaked before it got off the ground.
Somebody forgot to tell the kids and their schools that they could win iPods, PlayStation 3s or XBox 360s as bounty for catching and killing the noisy little frogs that are disturbing the island's peace and quiet.
Officials at two of the five schools that were announced as part of the campaign sponsored by the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board said they were never asked and are not interested in having their students on a frog-killing binge.
"I don't know how this started; no one seems to know anything about it," Hilo High School Vice Principal Chad Farias said.
"We'd participate in an educational program about the pros and cons of eradication," Farias said. "As for actual eradication, I don't see a way of the school being involved in that. It's not part of our standards to be involved in eradication."
Laupahoehoe High and Intermediate Principal Paul McCarty said he didn't know whether his school wants to have anything to do with coqui.
"People want to eradicate them, but I don't know if we want to bring them into our schools," McCarty said.
Board director Mark McGuffie said he had believed the schools had agreed to participate.
"We didn't just make this up," he said. "As far as we were concerned, they were all on board."
But some school officials say the first they heard of the program was Oct. 10 in the news media.
The volunteer program called for students to catch frogs in their back yards during the evening.