sued over admissions
Big Island rancher Harold RiceBy Harold Morse
says the policy is discriminatory
Big Island rancher Harold Rice has sued Bishop Estate and its five trustees, alleging discrimination in the admission policy of the Kamehameha Schools.
"The estate has got to give up its restrictive (Hawaiians only) admission policy," said attorney John Goemans, who filed the federal lawsuit yesterday with attorney David Ross. "It's a violation of the will and of the (U.S.) Constitution."
Elisa Yadao, Bishop Estate spokeswoman, defended Kamehameha Schools, saying today that: "I am baffled why Mr. Rice would want to deprive Hawaiian children of this educational asset. Our admission's policy is fundamental to our mission and we will do everything we can do to protect it.
"Our admission policy has been scrutinized and sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service and the federal government."
Rice, a fifth-generation Caucasian kamaaina, asks in the class-action lawsuit that those excluded because of race have an opportunity to seek admission.
The lawsuit also seeks to stop what it calls racially discriminatory admission practices by Bishop Estate and its trustees.
The lawsuit says Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who died in 1884, left the bulk of her estate in trust to establish Kamehameha Schools to educate boys and girls without regard to race.
But at some time, the lawsuit says, Bishop Estate trustees "instituted a practice, in direct contravention of the expressed intent of the princess of restricting admission to the Kamehameha Schools to persons of the Hawaiian race."
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