Friday, July 26, 2002

Maile Jachowski, a parent of two Kamehameha Schools students, gave a book of petitions yesterday to Douglas Ing, chairman of the schools' board of trustees.

7,000 call on trustees
to alter school policy

A Hawaiian leader calls the
petition "a wake-up call"

By Rick Daysog

More than 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for changes in the Kamehameha Schools' admission policy.

Organizers of the petition drive presented the signatures yesterday to Kamehameha Schools Chief Executive Officer Hamilton McCubbin and the estate's five trustees at their Kawaiahao Plaza offices.

The meeting came less than two weeks after the trust announced it was admitting a non-Hawaiian student to its Maui campus this year.

"The 7,000 (signatures) reflect the hurt and pain of not just this decision, but of past decisions," McCubbin said.

"When you look at the thousands of kids we said 'no' to, this has accumulated. This is the voice we now hear."

Hawaiian community leader Charlie Maxwell, who helped in the petition drive, said the admission controversy has given the trust "a wake-up call" to better serve the needs of Hawaiian children.

"This meeting achieved a meeting of our hearts that we can believe in each other and work together and trust each other," added Maile Jachowski, a 1977 Kamehameha Schools graduate who co-authored the petition with Maui attorney Patrick Wong.

The Kamehameha Schools, founded by the 1884 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, gives preference to students of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent allowed under laws governing tax-exempt organizations.

According to the trust, the non-Hawaiian student was admitted to the Maui campus after the list of qualified Hawaiian applicants was exhausted.

In response to the community uproar, the trust recently agreed to hold more than 30 meetings statewide with alumni, parents and members of the Hawaiian community over the next six months to gather input on the institution's long-term educational goals.

E-mail to City Desk


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