DOE e-mail broke
ethics rule

Gwen Fujie, wife of Deputy Superintendent Clayton Fujie, apologized yesterday for sending a flier advertising an image makeover workshop to five friends at their Department of Education e-mail accounts, calling it "an innocent mistake."

The flier, sent last week, was then forwarded to numerous other department employees. Using state e-mail accounts for commercial purposes is forbidden by the state's ethical guidelines.

"I am so sorry," Gwen Fujie said, adding that she feels "sick" about the error. "I just innocently sent it to my friends. I was not trying to use the DOE's system."

The flier advertised a professional image and wardrobe workshop for women entitled "Stepping Up with Style, Confidence & Courage" at the Oahu Country Club, from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 28, at a cost of $79. Reimi Kaneshiro Marden, an image consultant, and Fujie, a communications professional, are teaming up to present the seminar.

Fujie has given free workshops in "Tongue Fu" -- or peaceful communication techniques -- to parents at various schools as well as department employees in the past. She said she sent the flier to her friends in the same spirit of being helpful.

Her husband said he was not aware of the e-mail until the Star-Bulletin raised the issue yesterday.

"We're glad it was brought to our attention," said Sandra Goya, spokeswoman for the Department of Education. "As the school year begins, we'll remind employees about the guidelines for the proper usage of their state e-mail accounts. E-mail is so integral to everyone's daily life that we all like to share good news, but we have to make sure it is within the guidelines."

State Department of Education



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