Monday, April 2, 2001

Maui High back in
session after spring break,
rumored gun scare

By Gary T. Kubota

WAILUKU >> More than 1,700 students at Maui High School are expected to return to classes today after being sent home for nearly two days before spring break was scheduled to start March 26.

School Principal Dennis Manalili sent students home March 22 and kept the school closed March 23 because of widespread anxiety caused by a rumor of a threatened shooting. Manalili yesterday said nothing was found to substantiate the rumor. There was no shooting.

"Hopefully, things have calmed down," Manalili said.

Manalili said school officials plan to treat today like any other day at Maui High.

But he said the school does have emergency procedures in place in case of imminent danger to students, including a process of locking students in designated buildings.

Several Valley Isle high schools, including Maui High, also have a police officer on campus during school hours, as part of a police department program. Manalili decided to send Maui High students home at about 10:15 a.m. on March 22 and asked them to remain home on March 23, after students became frightened about the rumor.

Manalili said he received numerous telephone calls from parents when he arrived at the school at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, and the atmosphere of unrest continued through the early morning.

School District Superintendent Paul Brown said the atmosphere was not conducive to learning, and he felt school officials did the right thing.

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