Our school has been vandalized twice this school year. In November, an unidentified man skated onto school property at night and spray-painted profanities onto school buildings. On New Year’s Eve, a suspect fired half-a-dozen holes into the office door with a paintball gun, breaking several lights. The same person is believed to be the suspect in both cases “because of the nature of the vandalism and the damage to the school,” Vice-Principal Dana Takahara-Dias said.
The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) was notified right after the incidents and was shown school camera footage. Unfortunately, authorities were unable to identify the suspect, who was filmed riding an electric skateboard, and are currently looking for them. Residents of the area say he drives a dark-colored Ford and lives in the neighborhood near Pakala Street. HPD is still accepting tips and information on the case.
The vandalisms seem to be directed at the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) and not towards Kaiser High School itself. The profanities written in spray paint found after the first incident specifically referenced the “DOE,” so we can assume the motivation involved anger towards the school system. “We’re very hopeful that whoever’s doing it will stop because it’s really a detriment to our school as we are trying really hard to bring students back,” Takahara-Dias said. She believes that the person is angry and that they may even think they’re standing up for students and families who were put in tough situations because of school. But in her opinion, they’re just creating more problems. “We’re doing our very best to do the right thing for our students,” Takahara-Dias said. “And it just sets us back when we have vandalism and property damage. His message of anger is very displaced and it’s not fair to our students or our faculty, to be recipients of his anger.”
In response, the school is taking further measures—by increasing security, locking gates, and placing cameras—to ensure it does not happen a third time. At present, there is no threat to students or teachers, as the culprit has only struck at night and not on school days. Takahara-Dias assured the Kaiser community, saying “We’re going to try our very best to continue to monitor the situation.”