by Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D.
The State of Hawaii Department of Education must be held accountable for propagating the lie that Hawaiian language was banned. Dawn Kau’ilani Sang, Director of Hawaiian Studies, is responsible for a two-page webpage entitled “History of Hawaiian Education” which prominently proclaims the lie in three places, and which is cited as authority by news media when they repeat the lie and refuse to correct their publication of it. Thousands of children in the Hawaii Public Schools are undoubtedly being taught this racially inflammatory lie in the Hawaiian Studies curriculum that is compulsory in all grades K-12. Ms. Sang acknowledged receiving a lengthy email in mid-February 2016 filled with proof that the statements are false. The email explained the importance of correcting the falsehoods. But Ms. Sang stonewalled, replying only “The Department appreciates your attention to the information provided on our website. We will review the website and make changes as deemed necessary.” She has not indicated that any progress is being made. Followup inquiries are being pursued. Meanwhile, in mid-March 2016, Director Sang has engineered a resolution in the state legislature authorizing an expansion of her growing Hawaiian Studies empire; and the first “whereas” clause is the assertion that Hawaiian language was banned in the schools after the overthrow of the monarchy. Text of the resolution is provided along with Conklin’s testimony in opposition.
This webpage provides the details of what is summarized above:
Table of contents for Conklin’s webpage:
1. Honolulu Star-Advertiser article of Thursday February 18, 2016 whose first sentence mentioned in passing, as an established fact, that Hawaiian language was “… once banned in the public schools …”
2. Thursday February 18 (early morning) email from Ken Conklin to newspaper reporter and editor requesting correction and providing proof of falsehood.
3. Reporter’s very brief Thursday February 18 (late afternoon) reply citing the Department of Education webpage as authority.
4. Full text of detailed email from Ken Conklin to Dawn Kau’ilani Sang, Department of Education Director of Hawaiian Studies on Monday morning February 22, 2016 with copies to DOE Superintendent, DOE Assistant Superintendent, newspaper editor and reporter. This email provided irrefutable proof that it is false to say that Hawaiian language was banned in the schools after the monarchy was overthrown. The proof includes quotations from historical documents and citations to scholarly books published by UH Press.
5. 2-sentence acknowledgment from Dawn Kau’ilani Sang, Department of Education Director of Hawaiian Studies emailed Wednesday night February 24, promising “We will review the website and make changes as deemed necessary.”
6. Followup email from Ken Conklin to Dawn Kau’ilani Sang, on Monday morning March 14, 2016 with copies to DOE Superintendent, DOE Assistant Superintendent, newspaper editor and reporter. The email noted that it is 3 weeks after Ken Conklin’s initial email to her, and 12 working days after her promise to “review the website and make changes as deemed necessary.” The email asked to know what progress has been made, and asked for contact information for any subordinate who might have been assigned the task of reviewing the webpage and making changes.
7. On Thursday March 17 the Hawaii House committee that facilitates legislation focused on ethnic Hawaiian affairs held a hearing on a resolution engineered by DOE Director Sang that would expand her growing Hawaiian Studies empire. Other committees in both House and Senate will hold more hearings if the resolution moves forward. The resolution begins with a “whereas” clause stating as fact that Hawaiian language was banned following the overthrow of the monarchy and was not heard in the schools for 4 generations. Full text of the resolution is provided along with Ken Conklin’s testimony in opposition, and a link to the legislature’s webpage tracking the resolution including files of all testimony in each committee, how each member of each committee voted, and the committee report.