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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 4, 2006

Schools' feud has tension on rise

By William Cole
Advertiser Staff Writer

A police helicopter buzzed above Campbell High School yesterday, officers were in cruisers and on motorcycles patrolling the area, and some parents pulled their children out of school early after a report spread that a group from Kalihi planned a drive-by shooting.

An ongoing feud between students at Farrington and Campbell high schools was fanned after a Tuesday fight outside Campbell was videotaped and posted on a couple of Web sites.

"When the school calls me and informs me there may be a drive-by shooting, naturally, because our focus always has to be public safety, we have to take that threat seriously," said police Lt. Danny Ford.

Seventeen youths and adults from the Kalihi area arrived in 'Ewa Beach and were monitored by police, officials said. Police radios chattered with alerts to be on the lookout for individuals wearing red shirts, and student cell phones buzzed with the latest report of where a big fight might occur.

There was no violence, no one was arrested, and the Kalihi contingent left on a bus as about 100 Campbell students gathered in the rain after school at the corner of Fort Weaver Road and Kuhina Street by 'Ewa Beach Shopping Center to see if there would be conflict.

Police will try to identify those involved in the feud on both sides and sit down and talk with them, Ford said.

Yesterday's heightened security came after bad relations between some students at Campbell and Farrington escalated. The incident follows a recent brawl at Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park involving several high schools. A subsequent fight near Kapolei High School led to arrests.

Vena Graham was one of a number of parents to pull their children out early from Campbell after word spread that a drive-by shooting might occur.

"I was very worried. It gave me goose bumps. I was so worried about my son," she said.

Graham said the feuding "just keeps going on and on. To me, it has increased. It hasn't let down."

"I don't know if security is strong enough there. It's just getting worse," she added.

The school day ended as usual at 2:20 p.m., but with staff monitoring school grounds.

"We're on alert. We're ready. We're on top of things. We have all the police officers helping us," said Campbell Vice Principal Ilalo Parayno.

Parayno said the reaction is part of standard safety procedure, but admitted the drive-by shooting threat was unusual.

"This is different," Parayno said. "It's all about cell phones, fast communications." He added that the "writing on the wall said be careful."

Parayno said there is not a gang problem at Campbell, which has 2,200 students.

"None that I can discern," he said, adding there may be groups of kids who hang out together but don't fit the police definition of a gang.

"There's a lot of rumors about all different schools supposed to come and fight our school," said Angela Madriaga, 16, as she left Campbell. "Everyone's supposed to be jumping in their cars and going to 'Ewa at some bus stop to fight Kalihi boys."

Madriaga said she didn't know why the students were fighting.

The feuds occur in cycles, and fights involving groups of students have occurred between Kapolei and Wai'anae high schools recently, and last year between Kapolei and 'Ewa Beach teens, officials said.

Vince Miller, a 17-year-old Campbell student, said it's "just towns," not gangs fighting.

"People get beef with each other," added student Donovan Almarza.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com.