As students returned to public schools on Tuesday, the state Department of Education issued a letter reassuring parents and guardians that emergency drills — including shelter-in-place drills, the advised response for a ballistic missile threat — are in place.
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in the letter that recent events served as a statewide reminder of emergency preparations.
“The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) indicates that the safest response to a ballistic missile threat is to ‘Get Inside, Stay Inside, and Stay Tuned,’” said Kishimoto. “Thus, the proper emergency action drill for schools is, ‘Shelter-in-Place,’ Shelter-in-Place drills is one of the five annual emergency exercises practiced by schools.”
When there is a Shelter-in-Place situation, parents and guardians are also advised to do so as well, and avoid picking up children at school, she said. In the event of an emergency, she said the state Department of Education will post information on its website and its Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Individual schools and parent-teacher-student associations may be planning their own meetings regarding safety in coming weeks.
“This past weekend not only caused us to reflect on preparation efforts, but it also may have caused emotional trauma for you and your children,” she said, adding that the education department offers additional crisis counseling services upon request.
>> For the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s full coverage of Hawaii’s missile alert scare, go to http://808ne.ws/Hawaiimissilescare.