The Senate Committee on Education of the State of Hawaii held an informational briefing about the government charter schools on November 29, 2007. Members of the public were allowed to submit only written testimony.
Half of Hawaii's charter schools are referred to in various ways as "host culture" or "Native Hawaiian" or "Hawaiian culture" charter schools. [These schools are not the same as the Hawaiian language immersion schools.]
The host-culture charter schools are helping to foster ethnic pride. But they are also being used as madrassas to indoctrinate children with religious beliefs and twisted history designed to promote feelings of entitlement to racial supremacy, racial separatism, and ethnic nationalism.
An in-depth analysis of the Hawaiian culture-focus charter schools is provided on a webpage "PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ETHNIC NATION-BUILDING IN HAWAI'I -- a legislative bill to create a separate statewide school system for Native Hawaiians" at
Below is the announcement of the informational briefing, followed by the written testimony of Ken Conklin
THE TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE
INTERIM OF 2007
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Senator Norman Sakamoto, Chair
Senator Jill N. Tokuda, Vice Chair
NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Conference Room 225
415 South Beretania Street
A G E N D A
The purpose of this informational briefing is to provide an update on Charter Schools. The following are invited to participate:
I. Board of Education
II. Charter School Review Panel
III. Charter School Administrative Office (Executive Director)
IV. Charter School Administrative Office (Chief Financial Officer)
V. Charter School Network
VI. Native Hawaiian-based Charter Schools
VII. General public testimony - written only
Please submit written testimony to the committee clerk, in Room 230, at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.
If you require special assistance or auxiliary aids and/or services to participate in the public hearing process (i.e., sign language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility), please contact the Committee Clerk at 586-8585 at least 24 hours prior to the hearing for arrangements. Prompt requests submitted help to ensure the availability of qualified individuals and appropriate accommodations.
For further information, please call the Committee Clerk at 586-8585.
Selected meetings are broadcast live. Check the current legislative broadcast schedule on the "Capitol TV" Web site at www.capitoltv.org OR call 550-8074.
Senator Norman Sakamoto
To: Hawai'i State Senate Committee on Education
For: Hearing of November 29, 2007
Re: "Native Hawaiian-based Charter Schools"
From: Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.; Kane'ohe; Ken_Conklin@yahoo.com
Date: November 23, 2007
I am writing to ask that the committee request a report from the charter schools' executive director regarding the use of the "Native Hawaiian-based Charter Schools" (Ka Lei Na'auao) to indoctrinate children with religious and political views promoting a theology of racial supremacy and a corresponding anti-American racial separatism and ethnic nationalism.
On Thursday July 26, 2007 the PBS-Hawaii TV program "Insights" spent an hour discussing the Native Hawaiian charter schools. Hina Wong, on the staff of the Halau Lokahi school, responding to a viewer question, acknowledged that the religious activities and political views described below are indeed a part of the curriculum, and asserted that they are appropriate in view of a history of Hawaiian oppression and a future of liberation.
I believe that the Legislature would agree with me that religious ceremonies and prayers are not legally allowable as part of the school day in government schools, and that it is bad public policy to use any government school for the purpose of religious and political indoctrination of children.
RELIGIOUS CEREMONY AND PRAYER
To what extent are actual religious ceremonies and prayers being conducted in these tax-supported public schools (not as lessons demonstrating culture but as actual occasions of worship or guidance-seeking)? Is that legally permissible, and is it socially and morally wise? Religious ceremonies and prayers are customary elements of "protocol" in ethnic Hawaiian cultural events; yet such activities in the public schools violate the "establishment of religion" clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Let's recall that only a few years ago a lawsuit supported by ACLU forced McKinley High School to remove the word "God" from a publicly posted student conduct code. It is true that charter schools have great latitude regarding curriculum and methodology; that parents voluntarily choose to send their children there precisely for culture-specific education and are therefore not likely to complain about cultural/religious indoctrination. Nevertheless these are government schools obligated to obey the law regarding separation of church and state. Would the State of Hawaii be comfortable supporting public schools with a blatantly Christian, Jewish, or Muslim curriculum, even if parents requested such schools?
RELIGION AND POLITICS MIXED TOGETHER IN HISTORY/CULTURE CURRICULUM
More troubling than harmless, voluntary prayer is the indoctrination of children to believe in religious doctrines currently being invoked in the political arena to justify assertions that people of a particular racial heritage are entitled to racial supremacy regarding ownership and management of land.
The Kumulipo creation legend is a core element of Hawaiian religion which is being taught as true doctrine. According to this doctrine anyone possessing a drop of Hawaiian native blood is a descendant of the (Hawaiian) gods and a brother to the (Hawaiian) land in a way that nobody lacking that drop of native blood ever can be. Long story short: Sky father Wakea mated with Earth Mother Papahanaumoku, who then gave birth to the Hawaiian islands as living beings. Later Wakea and Papa mated again, producing daughter goddess Ho'ohokukalani. Wakea later mated with Ho'ohokukalani (a culturally appropriate incestuous "ni'aupi'o mating") giving birth to Haloa, the primordial Hawaiian ancestor from whom all persons with a drop of Hawaiian native blood are descended.
Thus there is a family relationship among the gods, the Hawaiian islands, and the ethnic Hawaiian people. Anyone lacking a drop of Hawaiian native blood is forever outside that family, and therefore not entitled to participate fully or equally in decisions about land use policy or who can live upon the land. Needless to say, indoctrinating children to believe this religious doctrine is extraordinarily divisive and corrosive in a multiracial society. It demeans those who lack native blood, and causes those who do have native blood to adopt an attitude of racial supremacy as birthright.
ANALOGY: CREATIONISM VS. EVOLUTION IN THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM
The Hawaii board of education has faced the same dispute as school boards throughout America regarding whether creationism (or "intelligent design") should be included in the science curriculum as an alternative to the generally accepted theory of evolution. Those who oppose including creationism label it religious indoctrination in disguise (and by analogy should also oppose including the Kumulipo creation legend for the same reason). Those who favor including creationism say it's good for children to know there are alternative theories and to become familiar with them (and by analogy should also favor including the Kumulipo legend in the context of teaching children about the diversity of beliefs in Hawaii). However, nobody has claimed that any government school should adopt creationism as the only theory to be taught and that children should be brainwashed to believe it (and by analogy, no government school in Hawaii should adopt the Kumulipo legend as the sole or predominant theory, especially the Kumulipo version as it is being twisted to support a doctrine of racial supremacy).
INDOCTRINATING CHILDREN WITH TWISTED HISTORY FOSTERING ANTI-AMERICAN ATTITUDES
Following are excerpts taken a few years ago from the website statement of purposes of the Kanu O Ka 'Aina public charter school -- statements presumably written by Ku Kahakalau, head of that school and also head of the consortium of Hawaiian-focus charter schools. The website is constantly revised, and the stridency has been toned down; but the concepts can still be found on that website.
The question for the Legislature is: do the people of the State of Hawaii really want to pay tax dollars to indoctrinate children with such anti-American attitudes, even if (especially if!) radical parents enthusiastically support such views?
"Kanu wants to encourage Hawaiian students to become politically conscious, and individually and collectively tackle the problem of Hawaiian oppression by the United States and our subjugation to American law and a Western way of life. In that vein, Kanu has the potential of significantly contributing to the Hawaiian sovereignty effort. ... Utilizing problem-posing as an instructional technique, Kanu hopes to make our students realize that the occupation of Hawai'i by the United States of America is not fatal and unalterable, but merely limiting – and therefore challenging. Additionally, Kanu wants to empower our students to accept this challenge and find solutions to this and the many other dilemma, that face Hawai'i's native people in their homeland today. By actively participating in finding solutions to native problems, it is envisioned that Kanu students will become an intricate part of the process of native liberation from American domination that nearly caused the demise of our native people and our way of life."
And so I am asking that Ku Kahakalau and other leadership in the Hawaiian-focus charter schools be called to account regarding whether they endorse or disavow the anti-American concepts in the above paragraph, and whether they have as one of their purposes to indoctrinate the children with those views. And then I call upon our political leadership to decide whether taxpayers should be forced to provide financial support for such "education."
CONCLUSION: THE BIG PICTURE
The "Native Hawaiian-based Charter Schools" are intentionally being used as engines pushing a political agenda described in my book: "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." The "Native Hawaiian-based Charter Schools" are intentionally being used as engines pushing a political agenda described in my book: "Hawaiian Apartheid: Racial Separatism and Ethnic Nationalism in the Aloha State." My book is not available in bookstores; please find it at
These tax supported public schools are functioning in the same way as the Islamist madrassas in Saudi Arabia or Iran -- their purpose is to indoctrinate children with concepts of racial entitlement, racial supremacy, and anti-Americanism. This purpose is served by means of religious beliefs being taught as true, corresponding religious ceremonies performed during the school day, and a twisted history curriculum depicting ethnic Hawaiians as oppressed under the authority of a foreign nation (U.S.) illegally occupying their homeland.
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(c) Copyright 2007 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved