Girl’s attack impels school drill
Students and teachers review security after a man allegedly tries kidnapping a child
A Kaneohe elementary school is on a heightened alert status after an alleged kidnapping attempt Tuesday at the tucked-away campus.
Students at Kapunahala Elementary School reviewed yesterday their "lockdown" procedures, which involve all the teachers locking the students in the classrooms when a stranger is on campus.
At about 2:30 p.m., after school, the girl was walking home from the school, 45-828 Anoi Road. Police said that as she walked by the park, which is part of the campus, a man forced her into the women's restroom.
The suspect fled when he heard the sound of other children right outside the restroom, police said.
The girl was not hurt and went back to the school to report the incident. Police conducted an extensive search of the area, but the suspect remains at large.
The suspect is described to be about 6 feet tall, with short black hair, bushy eyebrows and a tan complexion. He was seen wearing a green-and-white shirt and black shorts.
School Principal Joyce Bellino said a letter was sent to parents, and several called in voicing concerns. She met with teachers and asked them to go over safety procedures with students yesterday.
"We have a signal, and everybody knows what the signal is," Bellino said. "We have that as part of our emergency plan, and we usually practice it once a year."
Once the signal is heard, teachers lock the classrooms until the all-clear is given. Bellino said the school already practiced it earlier this year, and went through another drill as a result of the alleged attempted kidnapping.
Every student also wears a name tag with a picture of them on it as part of the school's safety measures already in place. Bellino said safety is the school's top priority.
"And, of course, when the parents are reinforcing it at home, it just makes it that much better," she said.