Rumors of copycat riots abound; weapons found in schools

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George Washington High School was burglarized.

Monkey see, monkey do … that old adage appears to apply to rumors of riots being planned at some of our island’s public schools as weapons turn up on school grounds.

PNC received two reports that public school students were planning riots. The first report was received from a George Washington High School teacher who confided that there were rumors of a riot being organized by the school’s students last week.

The teacher disclosed that the rumors of the riots were started in an effort to “copycat” the riots which occurred at John F. Kennedy High School and Tiyan High school.

The rumors of a possible riot resulted in increased police presence at a GW pep rally held at the school last week. However, no incidences were reported.

The second report was received from an Okkodo High School parent who reported that there was police present at the campus on Wednesday in response to rumors that fights would break out. The parent said that Okkodo students were using social media to plan a riot.

After receiving these reports, PNC reached out to GDOE spokeswoman Isa Baza to confirm if the department had knowledge of these rumors.

In response, Baza stated: “We have received rumors of potential fights over the past few weeks. When this happens, steps are taken to ensure school safety by requesting additional School Resource Officer or Guam Police Department presence at the schools. We thank the Guam Police Department, Judiciary of Guam, and Student Support Services Division for the continued support in our efforts to ensure school safety. We also thank our student leaders for working with their school communities to promote a safe and positive school climate.”

But riots are not the only concerns surfacing in the public schools, this video depicting what appears to be a knife concealed as a pen indicates that the concealed weapon was found at Jose Rios Middle School. In another post on social media, weapons concealed as hair combs were posted with the warning “Parents and school administrators be aware of these combs.”

Baza confirmed that the pen concealing a knife was in fact discovered at the middle school.

With GDOE officials on alert to prevent potential conflicts in light of the riots, Baza confirmed that Tiyan High school was placed on a shelter in placed procedure just before 10 a.m. Thursday as the school was searched for contraband.

School Resource Officers were dispatched to assist administrators with the operation and found brass knuckles.

Once the item was found, Baza says that the all-clear was given at 12:45 p.m.

According to GPD Spokesperson, Sgt. Paul Tapao, the police department did not respond to this incident and Baza says that the issue will be handled administratively.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.