GDOE to look into Marcial Sablan Elementary lockdowns, reports of gunfire

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Marcial Sablan Elementary School (MSES photo)

The Guam Department of Education has expressed concern with the gunshots heard over Marcial Sablan Elementary School for two consecutive days now and the resulting lockdowns that followed.

GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said they are working closely with the Guam Police Department to get to the bottom of the two incidents.

“So this is the second day. We will be touching base with the police after they have a chance to go and complete their investigation and see what they find. I will touch base with them to get a better sense of what’s happening,” the GDOE superintendent said.

According to Fernandez, they have received similar reports in the past and it turned out that the gunfire came from hunters around the area.

“That’s typically the story from prior years. But of course, having this happen two days in a row is more concerning, knowing that we’re not quite sure where yesterday’s shots were fired from. And now you have a second incident. So we are going to touch base with our partners to see what they’ve learned. And if there are any other concerns about what’s happening in that area,” Fernandez said.

He added that if the gunfire indeed came from hunters, GDOE would like to urge them to stay away from school sites because the gunfire is highly disruptive to the teachers, school staff, and especially the students.

“It’s the cause of a lot of fear, anxiety, and stress, and that’s definitely not something that we need, while we’re trying to deal with COVID-19 already here. So what we learn from GPD we’ll go ahead and take action accordingly but we haven’t had a chance to follow up today. I hope we will be able to do that,” the GDOE superintendent said.

Fernandez praised the administrator of Marcial Sablan Elementary for taking the corrective action in response to what was occurring around the school.

“We stay in close communication when things like this happen and she did put the school on lockdown to secure the school as the police were called in,” he said.

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