Friday, April 27, 2001
This may be the year of apologies.
First, a lesson
First the tragic sinking of the Ehime Maru taught us much about the perception of differences between American and Japanese versions of apologies.
The U.S. intelligence plane incident showed us the dance of statecraft in formulating apologies to the Chinese.
But here in Hawaii we have an apology gap. Because the state and the public school teachers could not agree, more than 180,000 school kids lost a goodly part of their education. Part of the deal of living in America is that you are promised a free education until you graduate from high school.
For whatever reason, the state and the teachers broke that promise. Governor Cayetano wisely summed it up when he said that the strike produced no victors; we all lost.
The students, however, didn't ask for the strike and our high school juniors and seniors will be especially punished for it. As the students across Hawaii return to the classroom, the very first thing they should hear from teachers and state officials is: "We are sorry and we apologize."