THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

61

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

urging the department of education to: (1) develop a hawaiian language and hawaiian cultural sensitivity and familiarity program for employees THROUGH ITS OFFICE OF HAWAIIAN EDUCATION To include the members of the board of education by 2023; (2) establish a HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE graduation exit requirement for all PUBLIC SCHOOL students by 2030; and (3) strengthen the hawaiian history requirement to INCLUDE PRE-1959 HISTORY TO BE TAUGHT FROM AN INDIGENOUS HAWAIIAN PERSPECTIVE by 2030.

 

 


WHEREAS, since 1978 the Hawaiian language has been one of two official languages of the State of Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education is one of the official departments of the State; and

 

WHEREAS, even though the Department of Education is comprised of Native Hawaiian charter schools and Hawaiian language immersion schools, some of the components of the Department have presented themselves as if Hawaiian language and Hawaiian culture belong only to the charter and immersion schools, and the Office of Hawaiian Education; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education finds its origins in the reign of Kauikeaouli, King Kamehameha III, at whose direction, the Department of Education was first established in Hawaii in 1840 this also being one of the first of its kind in the world; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaiian language was the medium language of education in Hawaii from 1831 at the establishment of Lahainaluna to 1896, when conspirators and traitors against the Kingdom of Hawaii, calling themselves the Republic of Hawaii, made it illegal to use Hawaiian language as the medium language of education; and

 

WHEREAS, even though, during the Territory of Hawaii in 1919, efforts were made to require the teaching of Hawaiian language in all public schools, the efforts proved ceremonial and insincere; and

 

WHEREAS, via oral and written documentations, native speakers of Hawaiian language reported that they were subjected to corporal punishment, ridiculed and embarrassed for speaking Hawaiian in the public schools, and some elders reported that classmates were paid to spy on students who spoke Hawaiian on the playgrounds during recesses; and

 

WHEREAS, during the Territory of Hawaii, public schools sent home letters instructing parents not to speak Hawaiian in their homes; and

 

WHEREAS, much of the destruction and near extinction of the Hawaiian language is due to the behaviors and policies, either led or tolerated by the Department of Education in the Republic of Hawaii, the Territory of Hawaii, and the State; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education acted as an agent of the Republic, Territory, and State who share in the responsibility of the destruction and near extinction of the Hawaiian language; and

 

WHEREAS, even though in 1980, the Department of Education established the Kupuna Program, today very few schools have kūpuna or mākua to culturally enhance its educational programs; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii celebrates the Hawaiian language through its immersion schools and Hawaiian public charter schools, these programs represent the clear and significant minority of student enrolled in the State's public schools; and

 

WHEREAS, according to the 2014 statistics, Native Hawaiians account for twenty-seven per cent of all students in Department of Education public schools; and

 

WHEREAS, in June 2015, Nā Hopena Ao (HĀ) framework, was adopted by the Board of Education as a department-wide policy to honor the qualities and values of the indigenous language and culture of Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaiian history is taught in the public schools as Modern Hawaiian History, a semester course that usually teaches Hawaiian history from 1959 (Statehood) to present; but ignores the vibrant Kingdom history and other important history preceding 1959; and

 

WHEREAS, the significant majority of students enrolled in the Department of Education public schools graduate annually, never being exposed to even the basics of Hawaiian language; and

 

WHEREAS, for over 120 years the Hawaiian language has struggled to survive as a result of, and due to the aforementioned policies, rules and laws of the Republic, Territory, State, and its Department of Education, resulting in the near annihilation of this critical foundation of Hawaiian culture; and

 

WHEREAS, the Maui Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, representing the home of Lahainaluna, the celebrated first school west of the Rockies and first school of the Department of Education, is calling on the State and its Department of Education to honor its responsibility to rehabilitate the Hawaiian language and cultural lens in all communities that the two serve; and

 

WHEREAS, The Maui Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs adopted this resolution at its annual council convention held on Maui in July, forwarding the same to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs to be considered as a resolution submitted by the Maui Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2020, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Department of Education is urged to:

 

(1) Develop a Hawaiian language and Hawaiian cultural sensitivity and familiarity program for employees through its Office of Hawaiian Education to include the members of the Board of Education by 2023;

 

(2) Establish a Hawaiian language graduation exit requirement for all public school students by 2030; and

 

(3) Strengthen the Hawaiian history requirement to include pre-1959 history to be taught from an indigenous Hawaiian perspective by 2030; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chair of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the House Committee on Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Education, all County Mayors, Chief Executive Officer of Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement, and Chair of Native Hawaiian Education Council.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

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Report Title:

Urges the Department of Education to: 1) develop a Hawaiian language and Hawaiian cultural sensitivity and familiarity program for employees through its Office of Hawaiian Education to include the members of the Board of Education by 2023; 2) establish a Hawaiian language graduation exit requirement for all public school students by 2030; and strengthen the Hawaiian history requirement to include pre-1959 history to be taught from an indigenous Hawaiian perspective by 2030.