Waimalu Elementary School teachers create DIY sneeze guards to protect students and staff


WAIMALU, Hawaii (KHON2 ) – Many schools across the state are getting creative with safety measures on campus.

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Meanwhile, teachers at Waimalu Elementary School are going above and beyond to make sure their students are safe upon their return.

On top of social distanced desks, face coverings and sanitizers, the teachers are taking it into their own hands to create more safety equipment.

The staff came up with DIY sneeze guards.

“It just starts with things like this that we get and little things that we find at the hardware store,” said Glen Iwamoto, the Principal of Waimalu Elementary School.

All you need are PVC pipes, elbows and joints and clear acrylic plastic to build the sneeze guards.

“We had the teachers make their own. We just created simple instructions like this and we had them do it at a meeting. Most of them were able to do it less than 10 minutes. It’s a labor of love. My vice principal and her whole family spent a Saturday cutting the pipes and tried to make it look a little more attractive and actually spray painted them so it’s not so industrial looking.”

Iwamoto says another plus about the project is it’s cost efficient.

“So if we were to buy a sneeze guard from somewhere that’s already pre-made, we’re looking at $40 for a sneeze guard. So we made these for under $6.”

The sneeze guards will be placed in every classroom and office on campus.

Iwamoto says they’ll continue to find creative ways to ensure the safety of both students and staff.

“We have a saying here. It’s called the power of ‘WE’ and everything we do you know, we do it together it always comes out better. So we did, we implemented the power of ‘WE.’ We tried to make sure everyone was taken care of and we all took care of each other.”

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