Students were not on campus when fires destroyed the King Kamehameha III school in Lahaina, but parents and teachers expressed concern about how the DOE would have handled student safety in the disaster. Hawaii DOE officials have repeatedly stressed that publishing school safety plans, which detail campuses’ responses to active shooters, fires and other crises, could threaten campus security and provide important details to potential intruders. But the teachers union and concerned parents argue that providing details on school safety is crucial in rebuilding trust with families in Lahaina and across the state.

Emily Torres, research area specialist with the National Center for School Safety, spoke with Honolulu Civil Beat about the importance of transparency around safety plans with student families.