HONOLULU (KHON2) — Do schools need more security? Some Hawaii state lawmakers think so. A new bill is pushing to get resource officers on all school campuses.
Sen. Kurt Fevella is one of the lawmakers behind the bill. He says currently only public high school and middle school campuses have resource officers and that needs to change.
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“When elementary schools have an emergency, the vice principals and the principals are the ones calling the parents and they don’t have time to lock down the campus,” said Sen. Kurt Fevella, (R) Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, Ewa Villages.
That’s where resource or security officers would come in. The bill specifically references an incident in 2020, when multiple Ewa Beach schools were locked down following a report of an armed man in the area.
“In this time and age with all the craziness happening, we need to really protect our children on campus. Principals, teachers, custodians, faculty and staff can’t do it all,” said Sen. Fevella.
Some teachers say, having the extra security on campus could help deter crime.
“You know, possible break-ins to steal computers or any kind of electronic devices that are helpful for the students, that becomes a problem,” said Dr. Marcia Howard, a teacher at Pearlridge Elementary School. “Using this bill, putting more people on campus is going to be beneficial more than anything else.”
What’s unanswered in the bill is how much it would cost.
“The bottom line is that we need to ask the Gov. to appropriate a little bit more special funding for DOE to accomplish this task and then put it in the budget so that they have it every year,” said Sen. Fevella.
KHON2 reached out to the DOE to find out what it thought about the proposal, but have yet to hear back
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If the bill passes, changes would go into effect next school year.