East Hawaii News

Pāhoa High Fight Sparked by Racial Remarks, HIDOE Confirms

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A fight Wednesday at Pāhoa High School, that led to the arrests of several teens, was instigated by racially insensitive remarks, officials with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education confirmed Thursday, Jan. 26.

The altercation, which resulted in the suspension of 20 students, forced school officials to place the campus on lockdown for about an hour while Hawaiʻi Police Department addressed the situation. A school resource officer assigned to the school contacted patrol officers at 10:20 a.m. for assistance.

“As additional officers were en route, the school resource officer and school staff proceeded to break up the altercations, resulting in one of the school security guards being assaulted by five male students,” HPD stated in a press release issued Thursday.

Police arrested four juvenile male students, ages 13-17, for assault on a school official; one 18-year-old adult male student for assault on a school official; and two juvenile female students, ages 16-17, for disorderly conduct.

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The security guard was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was treated for his injuries and later released.

“Parents are encouraged to speak with their child about making the right choices and the potential consequences of their actions,” HIDOE said in a statement to Big Island Now. “Assaults, fights and physical violence are taken very seriously and are investigated thoroughly.”

HIDOE says Class A student conduct offense penalties range from detention to dismissal with the possibility of arrest and serious criminal charges.

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“The department cannot share additional details because minors are involved. The school is appreciative for staff who responded quickly and continue to support students,” officials stated. “Counselors and staff are available for any student who needs to talk about what they witnessed or to process their feelings regarding this incident.”

After conferring with the county prosecutor’s office, police charged the four male students with second-degree assault and the two female students with disorderly conduct. The four males were sent to the Hawaiʻi Youth Correctional Facility on Oʻahu pending their initial hearing.

The adult male, identified as 18-year-old Advin Nakashima, was also charged with second-degree assault and his bail was set at $2,000.

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Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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