(ABOVE PHOTO) Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, courtesy LCPCS
- Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School was burglarized over the weekend, forcing officials to cancel school for the secondary students (grades six through 12) on Monday. The elementary grades were off on a field trip.
- School officials say the thieves stole valuables and caused more than $10,000 in property damage. $10,000 is the approximate cost to rekey the entire campus.
- The incident occurred during a declared state of emergency due to the proximity of Hurricane Ana.
- A media release issued by school officials detailed the financial – and emotional – impact of the crime. It is posted below.
- The school has been plagued by burglaries in the past. In March 2012, before converting to a public charter school, Laupahoehoe High suffered two burglaries in which $7,380 in school computers were stolen. Five laptops computers were also stolen from the school in 2008.
Laupahoehoe Community School is asking for the community’s help and support after suffering from a weekend break -in during which burglars stole valuables and caused more than $10,000 in property damage. School Director Alapaki Nahale-a said,
“We’ve been working so hard to create a great school for our students and community. Besides all that goes into offering a quality education, we’ve made our campus available for emergency shelter relief and community meeting and events. To have someone do this, to vandalise this historic building and take from our children, is a blow to everything we’re fighting for.”
The thieves broke into an interior locked space and then into a locked key safe, removing several master keys and keys to locked equipment spaces. To assure the safety and security of the campus, the school has no choice but to rekey the entire campus which is going to cost approximately $10,000. In addition, the school needs to install enhanced security measures which will take away from funds that would otherwise be used for education.
The financial impact of the burglary is significant, but Nahale-a’s greater fear was the emotional toll it could have taken on the school community, Nahale-a said.
“We’ve been pushing our faculty, staff, and students hard to improve. We have high hopes and expectations for the future and we know that will require hard work. I don’t want these kinds of acts to discourage our students.”
Fortunately, students are relying on the lessons being taught at school to stay positive. Sophomore student leader, Jayln Mahoe-Subica, said,
“At first, we were pretty upset that someone would do this, but then we remembered that one of the four behaviors we’re focussed on this year is Resilience, that we keep striving no matter what. It’s too bad that our school got broken into, especially during the Hurricane, but we’re not going to let that stop us from creating a great school.”
Because this crime was committed during a declared emergency, more severe penalties may apply. School leaders are asking anyone with information on the burglary to please call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
In addition, community members who would like to assist with upgrading security on campus are welcomed to call the school at (808) 962-2200.
About Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS)
Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS) provides a quality public education that emphasizes hands-on learning, community partnerships, traditional cultural values and academic success in an environment where every student is known and valued. LCPCS is open to all children, grades K-12, tuition free. For more information about LCPCS visit www.lcpcs.org.Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School media release
by Big Island Video News
Thieves allegedly stole valuables and caused more than $10,000 in property damage