After much anticipation, hundreds of students return to Lahainaluna High
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lahainaluna High School welcomed about 700 students back to campus for the first time since the deadly and devastating Aug. 8 wildfires.
Lahainaluna High alumni organized a drive-through snack pick-up. They said they wanted to do something special for the student’s first day at school.
Lilinoe Elam-Fonohema is a Lahainaluna High School class of 2020 graduate.
She said the community came together to support their class during the pandemic. So, she organized this drive-through snack pick-up because she wanted to pay it forward.
“I feel the need to step up for the keiki in Lahaina because everybody else stepped up for us as a community when we were going through it,” Elam-Fonohema said.
State Sen. Angus McKelvey, who represents the area, says he respects the parents who decided to send their children to school. But he’s also hearing from many concerned constituents who don’t believe the campus is safe.
“Respect the rights of parents to get their kids into school who feel it’s good. But we also have to understand the parents who have legitimate concerns, especially given the results of Upcountry have,” McKelvey said.
However, the state Department of Education says they’ve taken numerous steps to ensure the safety of the Lahaina schools, including extensive environmental testing of soil and drinking water, which they say have all come back safe.
“There was additional information that we received regarding the Kula fire and the results from those tests. However, here in Lahaina, we have been working with the state Department of Health from the very beginning; we’ve gone off of the assumption that the ash is toxic,” Schools Superintendent Keith Hayashi said.
Tuesday is the first day of Lahaina Intermediate.
Wednesday is Princess Nahienaena Elementary’s first day, and King Kamehameha III Elementary students will join them.
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