Saturday, November 15, 2003

praying for win
in bias lawsuit

Kamehameha Schools plans an early morning chapel service Monday to pray for a favorable outcome in a lawsuit that challenges the Hawaiians-only admission policy of the school.

About 20 churches in the United Church of Christ denomination will open their sanctuaries at the same time for parents, alumni and supporters to join the prayers.

School trustees, executives, faculty, staff and invited guests will join the students at the 7:35 a.m. campus service. There will not be room for all who might want to attend, said the school's acting chief executive officer, Colleen Wong, in a Wednesday memo to the Kamehameha ohana.

U.S. District Judge Alan Kay will hear motions Monday in the Doe vs. Kamehameha Schools lawsuit filed in June by an unidentified non-Hawaiian student seeking to attend the school.

A second suit has since been filed, both claiming that the admission policy is racial discrimination violating federal civil rights law.

"On the eve of what may well be the most important legal battle of Kamehameha Schools' history, we want to honor Ke Alii Bernice Pauahi Bishop and her legacy," Wong wrote. "And we will ask the Lord, just as Pauahi would have, for guidance, wisdom and fortitude in the face of these challenges."

Oahu churches that will hold 7:30 a.m. prayers for Kamehameha include Kawaiaha'o Church, Kaumakapili Church, Manoa Valley Church, Makiki Christian Church and Ka Hana O Ke Akua in Waianae. Churches on Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai also plan services, according to the Rev. Kekapa Lee, leader of the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches.

Princess Pauahi Bishop, the school founder, was a member of the denomination.

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