I am very sad to inform you that the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned U.S. District Judge Alan Kay’s ruling that Kamehameha Schools’ policy of giving preference in our admissions to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry is legal and justified. Our policy of serving Hawaiians first in our programs has been found to violate Section 1981 of the U.S. Code.
There is no doubt that this decision is very serious for Kamehameha Schools. But the fight is not over! The Board of Trustees, myself and the CEO Team vow to keep fighting with all our strength and that of our ohana to defend the schools’ policy. On behalf of the Board, Trustee Chair Diane Plotts pledged, "We will not give up on our fight to protect the preference policy. Our policy is not about race, it’s about restoring the Hawaiian people by providing them with educational opportunities. It is the most direct way to provide Pauahi’s legacy to her intended beneficiaries, and we will do whatever we can to protect it." There are no truer words to express our collective commitment to persevere in this fight.
The Board agrees that our first course of action will be to ask for a reconsideration of our case before a panel of 11 judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If that fails, we will ask for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. In any event, we have an automatic stay – or suspension - of the decision while we seek reconsideration or rehearing at the 9th Circuit.
If our petition for reconsideration or rehearing is unsuccessful, and we have to go to the highest court, we will ask for an extended stay of the ruling to allow us to continue to apply our Hawaiian preference during the course of the appeal. As always, we will continue our efforts to extend more and more of our resources into communities with large Hawaiian populations. Our mission allows us to do nothing less.
This is, indeed, a dark day for Kamehameha Schools and our Hawaiian community. However, we continue to be blessed in many, many ways. We have our Faith, we have our Princess, and we have the legacy she left to benefit her people. We have Hope. By the will of God, and with Pauahi’s lasting example, we will persevere; we will achieve our mission; our people will be restored.
We will keep you informed of the progress of our motions for reconsideration and rehearing. In the meantime, keep doing what you do to make our world a better place for our children, and please keep Kamehameha Schools in your prayers.
Dee Jay Mailer
Chief Executive Officer
For more information, go to http://www.ksbe.edu
Edit: I have since called my mother at work and she didn't know about the ruling. I am extremely close to her. She is also my voice of reason. The one who always tells me that I should believe and have faith. The one who CONTINUES to scold me *LOL* Well she told me that she will pray though she still does not like my blondish hair. I don't know why either since I am part Haole. She keeps telling me, "You look so Haole." But Mom... I am part Haole too :O