K-12 Message from EVP and Poʻo Kula
OFFICE OF THE PO‘O KULA (HEAD OF SCHOOL)
December 14, 2017
Aloha mai kākou āpau,
By now, you have probably heard or read about the unforgivable acts of physical and emotional abuse committed against Kamehameha School students at the hands of Dr. Robert Browne, a St. Francis consulting psychiatrist between the years of 1962 through 1984. As educators, administrators and keepers of Ke Ali‘i Pauahi’s promise to our people, we hold sacred kuleana to care for and protect the 7,000 haumāna in our care. In this case, not nearly enough was done.
We join the hearts and voices of our CEO Jack Wong, our Trustees, and the 4,000 dedicated employees of the Kamehameha Schools, in offering our deepest apologies to those victims of Dr. Browne, and their families who suffered alongside them.
As Kamehameha Schools continues to work with the victims and their families to do what is pono, I also wanted to take this time to reassure you that the care and protection of your keiki today is our first and highest priority. As leaders at KS, we personally pledge to do everything possible to prevent incidents of abuse, and we will not allow incidents of abuse to go unnoticed, unaddressed or unreported at Kamehameha Schools.
In recent years, we have centralized our student safety and well-being efforts at our three campuses, our 30 preschools and all of our community education programs within a new division called Mālama Ola. The division oversees education safety and risk, health services and athletic health. The Mālama Ola staff work very hard to continuously improve health services, policies and procedures, training, risk identification and mitigation, and they also advocate for a positive school climate and the well-being of our haumāna.
Organizationally, we have implemented a much more rigorous screening process for all new employees, as well as any non-KS individuals in unsupervised close proximity to students. We conduct ongoing training for all employees to identify harassment, intimidation, bullying and other harmful conduct, as well as focused kumu awareness training which takes these concepts a step further, into the learning environment.
Finally, I want to remind you about Hi‘ikua Student Helpline. This helpline is an objective, third party, confidential resource available for your keiki to report activities that may present physical or social/emotional harm to themselves or other students. Kamehameha Schools is just one of a handful of academic institutions across the United States to implement a helpline of this nature, and was the first school to offer it in Hawai‘i. You may access the website at Hi‘ikua Student Helpline or call (844) 284-2640, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Safety begins with us, the KS ‘ohana, employees, administrators, faculty and staff of Kamehameha who have kuleana to protect and guide our haumāna on their educational journey. We take this very seriously, and are committed to continually improving the pu‘uhonua for our haumāna to feel safe and secure, every single day they are here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us, or you may contact Dr. Kenneth Fink, Director of Mālama Ola, at (808) 842-8959.
Me ke aloha nō,
Dr. Holoua Stender, Executive Vice President of Education
Dr. Taran Chun, Po‘o Kula, Kamehameha Schools—Kapālama Campus
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