Fewer kids found with guns in school


POSTED: Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hawaii public schools have experienced a decrease in the number of firearms found in students' possession since the start of a public-awareness program about the state's gun-free schools rule, according to a Department of Education report.

Possession of firearms by individuals dropped to 30 in the 2008-09 school year from a high of 124 in 2005-06, according to the report. A handgun was found in Kapolei High School and a rifle at Nanakuli High School during the 2008-09 school year, but other than that, all the weapons were air guns.

The report, which did not name the individual students, is scheduled to be reviewed by the state Board of Education at its Thursday meeting. The report is done annually for legislative review.

The department began a “;Be Cool! Don't Be a Fool in School!”; campaign in 2005-06, informing students, families and communities about the state's rules, which call for mandatory expulsion for a student found in possession of a firearm in school.

The department's definition of a firearm extends beyond state and federal laws to include air guns such as BB guns and pistols, pellet guns and CO2 or paint guns, under Hawaii administrative rules.