UPDATE: Brief Lockdown at Kea’au, Mountain View Elementary Schools
***Updated at 12:30 p.m. to include information from the Department of Education, Mountain View Elementary School, and the Hawai’i Police Department.***
Kea’au Elementary School and Mountain View Elementary School were both under lockdown Friday morning.
Department of Education spokesperson Donalynn Dela Cruz told Big Island Now that an incident near the campuses caused the lockdown, but deferred to police to explain what had happened.
“At about 9 a.m., both schools were notified by local police about an incident that occurred near their campuses that warranted precautions. The schools were advised to go into lockdown until the situation was resolved. The lockdowns were lifted an hour later,” Dela Cruz said.
The Kea’au school was placed on lockdown at an unknown time. The lockdown ended at 9:55 a.m., according to a front office worker. She could not discuss why the school was placed in that mode, but said police was at the campus and that all students are safe. Letters for parents will be sent home with students after school.
The situation that led to Kea’au Elementary’s lockdown caused Mountain View Elementary School to follow suit shortly after that.
An HPD spokesperson told Big Island Now that police has initiated a terroristic threatening case and that officers remain on campus to continue the investigation. The spokesperson said that a threat was received by Kea’au Elementary.
The lockdown at Mountain View Elementary School ended at 9:50 a.m. A school front office employee told Big Island Now that everyone was fine and that the students were safe.
Mountain View Principal Jamil Ahmadia detailed the lockdown procedures in a letter given to Mountain View students to send home to parents. “At 9:00 a.m., there was an incident that warranted precautions. We immediately went into lockdown. Restrooms and hallways were cleared, all doors were locked, there was an accounting for all students, and no one was allowed to enter or exit the school premises. We remained in lockdown and worked with police until 10:00 a.m., when we felt confident that the school was safe.”