Kealakehe High to be closed Friday
Website says closure due to "safety concerns"
Kealakehe High School will be closed on Friday because of safety concerns, according to the school's website.
The Department of Education said that the school had to be locked down on Wednesday due to fighting on campus. Police responded to the scene. Kealakehe was locked down until 1 p.m.
West Hawaii Today is reporting that there were two days of violence and lockdowns that stemmed from racial and cultural tensions.
Big Island police says eight students were arrested at Kealakehe High School on Thursday.
Kona patrol officers responded to a call at approximately 1:30 p.m. reporting an affray involving 20 to 30 students. When officers arrived, the crowd had already begun disbursing and the campus was on lockdown.
Seven boys and one girl were charged with disorderly conduct and released. No one required medical attention.
All after-school activities were canceled Thursday afternoon.
Principal Wilfred Murkakami told West Hawaii Today that the situation hit a boiling point on Thursday and is part of an ongoing "issue of people bullying through racial and cultural taunts. The result overflowed on the Micronesian side where there was frustration, yelling and screaming -- a reaction."
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