AG NEWS RELEASE: Circuit court ruling ends Hawaiian immersion program lawsuit

Posted on May 4, 2016 in Latest News

HONOLULU – Circuit Judge Virginia L. Crandall ruled today that the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) did not violate the State Constitution by not making a Hawaiian immersion program available to two students on Lanai. Judge Crandall granted summary judgment in favor of the State of Hawaii on all four constitutional grounds raised by a Lanai resident in 2014 on behalf of her daughters. The ruling ends the lawsuit for now.

Attorney General Doug Chin said, “The circuit court agreed with the State’s argument that the DOE satisfied its constitutional mandate to establish a statewide system of public schools. In the meantime, we understand that the DOE is making efforts to establish a Hawaiian immersion program on the island of Lanai, partly in response to the concerns raised by this parent.”

The plaintiff is represented by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation and has the option to appeal today’s ruling by the circuit court.

The case is Clarabal v. Department of Education of the State of Hawaii, et al., Civil No. 14-1-2214-10.

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For more information, contact:

Joshua Wisch

Special Assistant to the Attorney General

Department of the Attorney General

Office: (808) 586-1284

Mobile: (808) 542-4089

joshua.a.wisch@hawaii.gov