Monday, December 21, 1998

Mainland expert
blames Lindsey for
fear, cynicism
at school

The witness was a
member of a team that evaluated
the Kamehameha Schools
operations earlier this year

By Rick Daysog


A mainland educational expert today blamed Bishop Estate trustee Lokelani Lindsey for creating a climate of fear and cynicism at the estate-run Kamehameha Schools.

In testimony before Circuit Judge Bambi Weil, Thomas Read, member of the visiting Western Association of Schools and Colleges team that evaluated the Kamehameha Schools operations earlier this year, said he believed that Lindsey's micromanagement of school affairs created distrust at the Kapalama Heights campus.

WASC earlier this year granted Kamehameha Schools a three-year accreditation, instead of the six years sought by the school.

In its report, the team largely gave good marks to Kamehameha Schools' educational programs but criticized Bishop Estate's trustees for a dysfunctional management style.

"There seemed to be a pervasive climate of fear among teachers and counseling staff," said Read, a former interim headmaster for Le Jardin Academy in Kailua. "There was cynicism in the student body."

Read, former headmaster of the St. Johns School in Houston, was called as an expert witness by Bishop Estate trustees Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis, who are seeking the removal of Lindsey from the estate's five-member board.

Read said he believed that Lindsey took away many of the duties of school president Michael Chun and issued arbitrary mandates hurt school morale.

In March, a nine-member WASC team visited Kamehameha Schools and interviewed teachers, administrators and students as part of their review.

The group did not interview trustees.

Michael Green, attorney for Lindsey, faulted the WASC team for not speaking with trustees. He said that the WASC review largely reflects rumors and innuendo spread by faculty members against Lindsey.

Green and fellow attorney David Gierlach have argued that Lindsey became a target of teachers' and administrators' criticisms after she sought to institute changes to improve Kamehameha Schools' educational programs.

Read's testimony will continue today with cross-examination by Gierlach.

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