KAILUA-KONA — School officials acted correctly by canceling a Friday night dance after learning of an alleged gun threat earlier that day, the state Department of Education said on Monday.
Kealakehe High School’s homecoming dance was called off after what police called a “hearsay threat” involving a firearm at the dance that was reported about 4 p.m. Friday to the department.
School officials decided to cancel the dance “out of an abundance of caution,” a DOE spokeswoman said.
The dance will not be rescheduled.
Football practice was also canceled that day and the campus was evacuated. Police said Monday that they opened a terroristic threatening investigation.
“All threats to our schools are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly,” said DOE spokeswoman Lindsay Chambers in an email.
She added that terroristic threats are considered Class A student conduct offenses and penalties can range from detention to dismissal with the possibility of arrest and criminal charges.
“Students and families are urged to refrain from reposting threats and/or rumors online,” she said in the email. “According to police, reposting a threat is as good as making the threat itself and contributes to prolonging the event.”