Be Cool! Don't Be A Fool In School! Campaign
Learning in school environments that are safe and violence free are foundational to achieving academic and social success for our children. “Be Cool! Don’t Be A Fool In School!” is our annual statewide campaign to remind you and your child/children that bringing a firearm, including air guns and any instrument that may be readily converted to expel a projectile, to school is a violation of the Hawaii Gun-Free Schools Act.
Any student who violates the Hawaii Gun-Free Schools Act shall be dismissed from attending school for not less than one calendar year. Only the Superintendent, on a case-by-case basis, may modify the removal of the student. Since this campaign began in 2005, the total number of firearm-related incidents involving Hawaii public school students has decreased significantly. Thank you for your efforts in reminding your child/children that firearms are dangerous instruments and do not belong in school, on the school bus, at school-related activities or in their backpacks.
Please discuss with your child/children the attached flyer emphasizing personal safety, what are appropriate safe school behaviors, and the consequences of violating the Hawaii Gun Free Schools Act. Always be aware of what your child/children are doing and what they may be bringing to school in their backpacks.
Attached below is a letter from Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.
Thank you for helping to keep our Hawaii schools safe for your child/children.
IMPORTANT: Parents, please go over the letter with your child and sign the agreement and have your child return the letter to your child's advisory teacher.
SAFE SCHOOL AGREEMENT
Dear Parent/Guardian and Student:
Waiakea Intermediate School’s discipline policy is intended to protect the welfare of all. The school will work closely with the home to guide students in developing appropriate behavior.
We believe it is important for you and your child to read and discuss the following two laws which apply to all students in the public school system:
HAWAII GUN FREE SCHOOLS ACT
Under the Department of Education’s Chapter 19 (Hawaii Administrative Rules), any student who possesses a firearm "shall be DISMISSED from school for not less than one calendar year period." This misconduct will result in an automatic one year dismissal with an appeal to the State and Deputy Superintendent of Education.
As stated in Chapter 19 (Hawaii Administrative Rules) “Firearm” means:
In the Hawaii Revised Statutes and Chapter 19 Handbook, it states that any child (student) who is found to be in possession of a dangerous weapon or instrument, intoxicating liquor, or illicit drugs while attending school may be excluded from attending school for up to 92 school days. The number of days will be determined by the principal and approved by the complex area superintendent (serious discipline). Also, police will be notified and the child could face possible arrest.
Dangerous weapon is defined as:
An instrument whose sole design and purpose is to inflict bodily injury or death. Examples of such instruments include but are not limited to a dirk, dagger, butterfly knife, switchblade knife, blackjack, slug shot, billy, metal knuckles, or other weapons that inflict bodily injury or death.
Dangerous instrument, or ‘substance’ is defined as:
Any explosive device, instrument, material, or chemical, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is known to be capable of producing death or bodily injury. Examples of such items include but are not limited to knives, pipe bomb devices, fireworks, pepper spray, mace, martial arts devices such as sticks and throwing stars; and inanimate objects such as pipes, sticks, or baseball bats swung at a person in a menacing manner so as to cause or threaten bodily injury.
Thank you for taking the time to discuss this important information with your child. It is also important for your child to understand that he/she should immediately tell an adult on campus when he/she sees someone in possession of any firearm or dangerous instrument, substance and/or weapon. Please keep this sheet for your reference and complete the attached sheet and have your child turn in the attached sheet to his/her advisory teacher.