Admissions Policy Lawsuit
FROM THE COMMUNITY
to Kamehameha Schools)
I am a divorced mother of
2 children, ages 6 and 11. We do homeschooling and I run a
business from home. We live on the Big Island ( Kea'au
Although my children are multi-cultural (Mexican, Black,
Dutch, Swedish, German, Norwegian, Welsh, and Native American)
they are not of Hawaiian descent. I am all for your
organization having a strict policy/preference for enrolling
children of Hawaiian background. No one on the mainland
is trying to enroll ( and subsequently complain when denied...)
their children into Native American schools on tribal land,
so I don't see why your schools should have to be any different.
From my point of view, both school systems are for children
of an Indiginous Culture who had their lands taken by foreigners.
The least that can be done is for children of these cultures
to learn about their past alongside others of their (sadly
dwindling ) ethnic background . I also strongly believe
that ALL children should learn a more truthful version of
our country's history. One that tells it like it was
regardless of where blame may or may not lay. This is
main reason why I homeschool, in addition to teaching my kids
in more than one language.
Anyways, I read in the Tribune-Journal about a Kamehameha
School near the Kea'au area and I just wanted to let you know
that it will be a much welcomed and very enriching addition
to the Island.
I was moved to tears after listening to Nainoa Thompson.
Nainoa's passion for all people and the Hawaiian race,
makes me proud to be of Hawaiian ancestry.
I attended the recent Cultural Fest on [Nov. 2] and took
my grandchildren, [aged five and three]. I wanted them to
experience part of the learning community, that Kamehemeha
provided for me. I walked away from that event realizing,
that even today, 30 years after graduating, that Kamehameha
is still educating me.
The event was informative for my whole family. I was
impressed with the trustee's presence and interaction with
the people. We need to fight to maintain Pauahi's Will.
This strength will come with knowledge, love, and faith
in God to guide us.
Harolyn Kanoelani Meheula Morgenstein
KS Class of 1975
I hope this letter
reaches who ever thinks that the schools policy is not a good
idea. My name is Kenneth E. White. I have been following this
story for some time now and I am overjoyed that the government
didn't try and make your school change its rich heritage.
I understand that this school is an institution that my black
or African American children could not attend. but all the
same, I still think its a good idea for you not to compromise
your values to " fit" society. Is it so bad that
you can't attend this school if you weren't of Hawaiian descent?
If you think it is, explain to me how can companies that
profited off of the back of slaves still be allowed to operate
without ever acknowledging the fact that they did, or even
donate money to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)?
I wish I had the opportunity to go to an African heritage
school where I could learn more about my history and be able
to pass that to my children. All I have is knowledge learned
from people who wrote the history, and as you can imagine,
most of them didn't resemble me or my ethnic background in
any way -- not even from the physical view. The closest thing
I could do was go to an Historically Black College and University
Anyway I'm glad you guys won and my prayers are with you.
Kenneth E. White
I just read about the
lawsuit and its outcome. I want to congratulate the Kamehameha
Schools victory. The government in my opinion has no business
dictating the policies for a legal private school. The parents
of the child in question have disrespected your institution
and themselves by not honoring your right to self-governance.
Should this go to appeal I am certain you will prevail again!
In my opinion if you own a business, it is yours to run as
you choose. This is no different than having an all gender
school. I wish people would understand that what you are doing
is of immense value. Making sure that Hawaiian culture lives
on through the children is very important. America has historically
stifled/eradicated indigenous cultures over the last three
hundred years. It needs to finally stop and drawing the line
with the school and your autonomy would be a great thing.
I feel for the family of the non-Hawaiian child. It is very
difficult to pay for superior education and in an odd way
they are paying you a compliment by recognizing the quality
of your education.
I just read [an online
article announcing Judge Alan Kay's ruling that supports Kamehameha
School's admissions policy]. I'm a 1955 graduate of Saint
Louis, and while I am not a Native-born Hawaiian, I am in
spirit and am very pleased that you won the case.
James V. Sweeney
1955 graduate of Saint Louis High School
I am a product of Kamehameha.
I went to college, then to law school. I have been practicing
law in Hilo for 10 years. Kamehameha gave me the opportunity
to be a good and industrious citizen as Princess Pauahi promised
in her Will.
I had no ambitions to become a lawyer until I attended Kamehameha.
I am the first and only one of three generations of my ‘ohana
to become a lawyer and I owed most of it to our Princess'
trust. There is no question to me that had it not been for
Kamehameha, I would not be a where I am today.
While attending public elementary schools here on the Big
Island, it was a struggle for me. I felt, at an early age,
that I was being left behind by a public education system
that did not really care to educate struggling Kanaka Maoli
such as myself. I also saw, first hand, other Kanaka Maoli
struggling in an education system that did not seem to account
for our people.
But at Kamehameha, I witnessed an institution that believed
in and nurtured us. Kamehameha Ohana not only nurtured us,
but also believed in us to succeed in an increasingly competitive
society. I have plenty aloha for Kamehameha, whom I consider
to be part of my ‘ohana. I am deeply grateful for some
of the people in that institution who set examples for me
as a youth. I deeply feel that Kamehameha is a blessing from
Akua to help Kanaka Maoli thrive as a people. I recognize
that these lawsuits are a very serious attack on our hope
and opportunity to thrive and we must stand up in every way
to fight for our children.
For what it's worth . . .
I wanted to extend my support of the Kamehameha Schools'
admittance policies. I never attended Kamehameha. On the contrary,
I attended Punahou from Kindergarten through 12th grade. I
have always been impressed by Kamehameha Schools and the desires
of Bernice Pauahi Bishop to establish a school for those of
Hawaiian ancestry. Your institution is a invaluable part of
Hawaiian culture, providing the community with a service that
cannot be duplicated anywhere in the world. Please don't let
the attorney's twist something good to make it look bad!
I have no Hawaiian blood, but my family has lived in Hawai'i
since the late 1800s. The many friends I have who graduated
from Kamehameha now have children attending there and they
deserve their dedicated portion of the limited educational
resources available to them through your Trust.
Punahou Class of 1977
I want to thank you for keeping
me abreast about the Kamehameha ‘ohana, of which I take
pride in being a part of. As an educator for 32 years, teaching
in the state of Ohio, I am so interested in any news of the
Schools. You are all doing a fine job of keeping the legacy
of our beloved princess alive for the future of the Hawaiian
people. If I had remained in Hawai‘i, Kamehameha is
where I would have wanted to teach. I was blessed to have
been given the opportunity to be educated there and then on
the mainland. The foundation of hard work, perseverance, and
being a life-long learner was instilled in me at Kamehameha.
I have worked hard at being an outstanding educator and community
servant. I take pride in what the Schools have done so mahalo
to all of you and keep the light burning! Imua!
Alice Sandborn Kern
For what my opinion may be
worth as a mainlander who loves Hawai‘i and it’s
people – I wholeheartedly applaud your efforts to educate
those students of native Hawaiian ancestry and support your
right to do it. I would hope that in the Island school system,
there are programs to nurture the more gifted students as
well as giving the others the benefit of an excellent education
such as here in the state of New Jersey. Once again, my thoughts
are with you – Good luck.
I am an Australian Aboriginal
woman who was recently visiting your beautiful homelands.
I was shocked, angry and saddened to hear of your most recent
court action to allow a non-Hawaiian student to attend your
school. I urge you to stay strong and continue to protect
the rights of Native children.
Like you, we have serious problems with high absentee rates
as well as extremely low levels of literacy and numeracy.
Unlike you, we don't have schools like Kamehameha that can
provide an environment where our children can be proud of
their culture and heritage and enjoy learning. What you do
is essential to give our kids the skills they need to be future
leaders; what you do is important.
I hope and pray that justice and common sense will prevail
and that you will be allowed to continue to provide educational,
social and cultural opportunities to Native Hawaiian youth
in the future. My warmest and best wishes to you all.
I am a 1991 graduate of the
Kamehameha Schools, and I presently reside in Portland, Oregon.
I was just informed about this lawsuit and started getting
petitions signed by people in Oregon. So far I have 30 signatures
and my goal is 500. I am deeply saddened by the fact that
the general public is NOT respecting the will and testament
of our Princess. The Kamehameha Schools is no different than
any other school that is private and can make it's own rules
like schools that are for only girls, boys, religious schools,
etc. Well I hope what little I can do will help.
I am a Kumu Hula of a Marin
County, California based Halau Hula, Na Pua O Ka La‘akea.
Our members are not a majority of Hawaiian ancestry.
I have been traveling home to O'ahu once a month for the
past 2 years, in order to further my study of Hula with Hula
Master, Mae Kamamalu Klein. During this time, I became aware
of the troubles regarding the admission policy of Kamehameha
Schools, and have been keeping my Halau informed as well.
Today, we are signing the petition, and sending in at least
100 signatures, stating our desire to keep the policies AS
IS, and therefore, continuing to honor the will and legacy
of Bernice Pauahi Bishop. We are certain that by doing so,
the future of Hawai'i and every Native Hawaiian will be preserved.
We send our warm mahalo to Nainoa Thompson, for his passionate
plea. It was very moving.
Kumu Hula Shawna kealameleku'uleialoha Ngum
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