Wednesday, April 21, 1999

‘Why the hell don’t
they have more gun control
in this country?’

Inger Steere


Local reaction:
Shock, frustration,

DOE has contingency plans

By Rod Ohira


Mel Seo oversees plans he hopes never will be used.

Seo, the Department of Education's safety officer, said Hawaii's public schools have a number of plans in place to deal with crisis situations.

But Seo said none of them are aimed at preventing deadly gunfire from occurring on school campuses.

"It can happen anywhere," Seo said, referring to yesterday's shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., which left as many as 16 students dead.

"You can't prevent it, because how do you predict human behavior?"

The Department of Education has been providing manuals, crisis management training for school administrators and training videotapes for the past 18 months, Seo said.

"We have generic plans covering situations from A to Z," he said. "It's up to the schools to put the meat to the unique situations.

"You need a plan to deal with crisis situations, otherwise no one is going to know what to do when something happens."

Local public reaction to the Colorado incident was shock and frustration.

"It could happen anywhere; that's what is so frightening," attorney Jeff Wayne of Kahala said.

"You're powerless. There's clearly a lack of adult supervision at some point that would allow children access to semiautomatic weapons."

Iwalani Obrey of Makiki said: "I think something is happening in our culture that's terribly wrong.

"Personally, I think a lot of it stems from the home. I'm not saying parents are to blame, but we need to look at what the influences are."

Inger Steere of Makiki believed guns are the problem.

"I'm from Europe, and my first reaction to what happened in Colorado is, Why the hell don't they have more gun control in this country?" Steere said.

"It's a violent society, and this is going to keep happening. It can only get worse. Those children got the guns from somebody; that's the problem."

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin