Lindsey responds
to educators’ essay

‘I am committed to
telling the truth and will do so

I wish I could take time today to meet personally with reporters to do a point-by-point refutation of the allegations contained in the Five Authors' letter. But I can't, because this is Thanksgiving, and I'm busy cooking a turkey and baking pies.

The defenders of the Status Quo at Kamehameha Schools obviously believe Thanksgiving Day is just another chance to keep up their relentless attack. But the Status Quo is not good enough for the children of Kamehameha Schools. I am committed to telling the truth and will do so relentlessly in my own way in the days to come.

I wish everyone in the Kamehameha Schools ohana and community a beautiful Thanksgiving. Mahalo.

The following are comments and notes taken by Doug Carlson, Lindsey's newly hired public relations adviser, regarding the educators' essay:

Re threats to fire teachers allegation: This is ludicrous. I never said they should be fired.

Re contracts at the last minute: Contracts were given late because the budget had to be approved, and the teachers were given a raise in that budget. The pay raise had to be factored into each individual contract. They knew that the contracts would not be offered until the budget was approved, including pay raises for the teachers.

The terminations of teachers following programmatic restructuring: Excellent severance packages were involved. E.G., the person with 35 years of service received a full year's pay, in addition to retirement benefits and all pay to which he was entitled. The terminated programs were not effective and students were even regressing in some instances due to the ineffectiveness of the programs. If the teachers were qualified, they could come back and teach in the new programs that were initiated.

The student body president: The characterization of what transpired is completely and irrefutably false. KS Principal Tony Ramos, who in fact was in the room during the meeting, will confirm that no such "inquisition" or "interrogation" occurred.

Kindergarten story: This is an outrageous lie. Allegations are being made without attribution or proof. This amounts to "McCarthyism."

No positive comments to the faculty: Many positive comments have been made about the Schools and faculty, both publicly and in trustee meetings.

Statements to secondary teachers: These statements are taken out of context for inflammatory purposes.

Dickie Wong's alleged statement: Mr. Wong denies the statement without qualification. Totally untrue.

Remaining seated during Dr. Chun's remarks: It's true that she remained seated. It's totally false that she has attempted to have him removed for his "popularity." Other reasons exist that will be articulated in due time.

Termination of educational programs: Oswald Stender participated in all of the meetings, weekend retreats, and other gatherings. He voted for the changes. He went against the decision of the board of which he was a part. Later, when he was unable to resist the opinions of those people who were affected by the Board's efforts to improve the educational process of Kamehameha Schools, he flip-flopped.

Threat to tax status: The Board's advisors disagree with these assertions. The real reason for the changes, however, was that these expensive programs (and some were as old as 25 years without substantial change) were ineffective and were a drain on the Schools' educational resources, which were diverted to more effective programs on behalf of the students.

Rockne Freitas: Oswald Stender recommended Rockne Freitas when doing succession planning for the Schools, before Freitas was hired, in the event Dr. Chun's position were to become vacant for any reason whatsoever. When the Vice President's position was established, Chun interviewed Freitas and recommended Freitas to the Board. Chun said he had known Freitas all his life, went through 13 years of school at KS together, etc., and gave his wholehearted endorsement of Freitas.

In fact, Chun wrote the job description for both himself and Freitas. Freitas has a doctorate in educational administration, curriculum and instruction. Chun has a doctorate in environmental engineering.

Strategic Plan: Mike Chun was assigned in June 1996 to do a strategic educational plan, to be completed by December 1996. After three extensions, the plan was still not acceptable. Ms. Lindsey was assigned by the board to facilitate the planning process.

Ms. Lindsey met with a committee consisting of Dr. Chun; Dr. Freitas; Tony Ramos, Principal of Kamehameha Schools; Kahele Kukea, Principal of the Elementary School; Barbara Robertson, Principal of the new East Hawaii Elementary School on the Big Island; Cordy MacLaughlin, Principal of the new Maui Elementary School; Char Chun-Lum, Director of the KS Summer School; Wayne Chang, Director of Admissions; Marsha Bolson, Director of communications at KS; Marlene Sai, head of the Alumni Association; Yuki Takemoto, principal executive in charge of budget and review; Rodney Park, principal executive in charge of administration; Nathan Aipa, Bishop Estate general counsel, and Suzanne Ramos, director of early education. All these people were involved in the development of the educational plan, and as shown by their responsibilities, were conduits for the faculty's input. This is not Lindsey's "top-down plan." It was developed by the above-named participants and adopted by the entire Board of Trustees. Now, after the plan has been developed, the faculty will be 100-percent involved in spelling out the operational plan, under guidance from the Schools' administration. This operational plan is due June 30, 1998. The Five Authors' assertions are completely false.

Timing vis-a-vis accreditation process: parts of the plan were/are essential to the accreditation process. This is only proper. The completion of the operational plan and budget, when combined with the strategic educational plan, becomes the total education plan for the school. This total plan will be integrated with the strategic financial plan so the wherewithal will be in place to provide resources to continue improving the Schools' academic program and reach more Hawaiian students on a full-time basis.

Patrick Yim: Trustees Jervis and Stender recommended fact-finding and Judge Yim. The other three trustees agreed with the recommendation. Judge Yim is under order of the court to do all that he's doing, which included meeting with the Trustees. Judge Yim would confirm this. A reading of the court's order would verify this.

Ms. Lindsey's "terrorizing" tactics: This is absurd. Her whole focus has been to make the Schools a better place for the students. They deserve no less.

"Make our voices heard": The Five Authors appear to be basing their allegations on emotions and rumors rather than on hard factual data. Aside from one lunch meeting months ago with Ms. Brandt and Ms. Rubin on subjects essentially unrelated to the above, the Five Authors have not been in contact with Ms. Lindsey to obtain information or discuss their allegations. It is Ms. Lindsey's belief that if they had factual information, they would not be making some of these statements.

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