Football season is over for a Hawaii high school after police were called to campus.
A letter from the principal of Henry J. Kaiser (Honolulu) issued Tuesday announced the cancellation for both the JV and varsity teams, effective immediately.
The cancellation results in the forfeiture of scheduled JV and varsity games against Moanalua High on Sept. 22 and Waianae High on Sept. 29.
The team only played one game this year against Campbell, a 71-0 defeat.
As reported by KHON, Kaiser principal Justin Mew cited a “series of prevailing events and extreme concerns for student and staff safety.”
According to Mew’s letter, an on-campus incident that occurred Monday evening required police involvement.
“This unacceptable behavior is one of a series of escalating events that has led us to this difficult decision,” Mew wrote. “The well being of our school community is a top priority and we are committed to keeping our students and staff safe.”
“Our children were pulled out of their last period of the day to have a meeting without parent knowledge,” a parent of a Kaiser football player told KHON. “There’s no communication to parents, and our kids brought home this letter saying that due to escalating events, but it’s escalating because the administration at Kaiser, they’re not doing anything. They’re not trying to resolve anything.”
In a news release obtained by KHON, the Department of Education said, “Due to a shortage of varsity football players for the 2017 season, the school tried to make accommodations for a modified season in order to participate in the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) league.”
Officials also announced that the grand opening of the school’s new athletic facilities and renovated track and field will not take place as scheduled Wednesday “as an added safety precaution.”
In an email that was distributed internally to Kaiser faculty and staff members and obtained by Honolulu’s Hawaii News Now (KGMB), school administrators said that the decision to cancel the remainder of the football season was “due to escalating threats against members of our faculty and staff.”
Multiple sources told KGMB that there was a second, unspecified altercation involving a parent, but that the incident happened at head coach Arnold Martinez’s home. While court records obtained by KGMB show that Martinez filed a temporary restraining order last week, it was unclear whether the request was related to the incident.
Several parents told KGMB that Martinez struggled to field a team because players don’t want to play for him.
Under Martinez, the team forfeited four of the first five games.
Raymond Fujino, OIA executive director, told KHON the decision is both disappointing and concerning.
“I feel for the school and for everyone involved, the community. Hopefully this decision was based on something beyond the controls of everyone,” he said. “I guess that’s the part I’m concerned with. Was it actually the team and the coaches? Was it coming from outside of the team? That’s the concerning part.”