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December 9, 2004

Multiple bomb threats send students home

From: The University of Hawaii Kaleo, HI - Dec 9, 2004

By Travis Quezon
Ka Leo Editor in Chief
December 09, 2004

Education Laboratory School officials made the decision to send students home after two bomb threats were made to the Manoa K-12 school via a telecommunications relay service yesterday.

"We have to be concerned about the safety of these students," said Education Laboratory School Principal Jane Burke. "Honestly, with the world that we live in, you never know."

Burke said the bomb threats were delivered through tele-relay, a service that provides full telephone accessibility to deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled TTY users.

Students were first evacuated at approximately 8:30 a.m. when a message said that there were three bombs located on the school's campus.

Burke said the school's security did a sweep of every building and later gave permission to school officials to allow students, faculty and staff back on campus.

At approximately 10 a.m., the school received a second bomb threat, resulting in another evacuation.

"After we had permission to get back on campus a second time, we decided that we should get our students home," Burke said.

Following an assembly to explain the situation at a designated emergency site across University Avenue, all 398 students were told to go home. Arrangements were made with the students' parents.

Several buildings part of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's College of Education were also evacuated, including Wist Hall and the Wist Annex complexes. UH students, faculty and staff were later allowed back into the buildings once officials had deemed it safe.

"We do take these kinds of things seriously because it's a security issue and a safety issue," UH Manoa spokesperson Jim Manke said.

A third bomb threat was made to the school later in the afternoon, after students were sent home.

The bomb threats were the first to the UH Manoa campus this year, Manke said.

The Honolulu Police Department is currently investigating the situation.

Education Laboratory School is scheduled to resume classes today. end of article dingbat

© 2004 Ka Leo O Hawaii