Monday, November 17, 2003

In Local news
One of the two challenges to the Kamehameha Schools native Hawaiians only admissions policy has been upheld
A federal judge today tossed out a challenge to Kamehameha Schools’ admissions policy which gives preference to Hawaiians, saying the policy does not violate a federal anti-discrimination law so long as it has a narrowly defined, legitimate justification.

U.S. District Judge Alan Kay said the school’s admissions policy seeks to address cultural and socio-economic disadvantages that have beset Hawaiians since the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.

He found that a special trust relationship exists between the federal government and Hawaiians, and that as recently as 2002 Congress endorsed the school’s efforts via the Native Hawaiian Education Act. The law calls upon Kamehameha to redouble its efforts to educate children of Hawaiian ancestry.

Lawyers John Goemans of the Big Island and Eric Grant of Sacramento, Calif., authors of two federal court challenges to Kamehameha’s admissions policy, claimed it is discriminatory because it gives preferential treatment to Hawaiians.

But school attorneys said the admissions policy amounts to an affirmative-action plan, one designed to help offset what they say are historical inequities that have plagued Hawaiians for more than a century.
Myself does not have a problem with the policy, because 1) it is a private institution and if they want to accept only native hawaiians then that's their choice. If a Catholic school can select based on religion, the Kamehameha Schools (KS) can select based on race. and 2) myself also agrees with the last quote. Native Hawaiians have had the short end of the stick for years, and like Affirmative Actiion, a little compensaton is in order. There is another case pending that challenges the state's Office of Hawaiian Affairs as also being discriminatory in that it is a constitutionally established agency (meaning tax dollars being spent for native Hawaiians and not for Whiny White People).More on this one as it develops. Hawaiian sovereignity is a hot button issue here, with advocates calling from everything from establishing rights similar to Native Americans (there is a bill struggling in congress trying to do just that) to seceeding from the US to form a Kingdom of Hawaii (yeah, right).

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