Making Waves: School distancing itself from crime seems wrong

They call it legal jargon, but I call it BS.

I am referring to the latest legal dodge of the Department of Education, or DOE. In a local rape case, WHT reported on Sunday that the woman who was sexually assaulted is suing the DOE because they failed to recognize the violent behavior in the alleged rapists, two students at Kealakehe High School.


The civil suit is pointing out the obvious — that the department’s only job in the world is to protect and take care of (and educate) students. The education department is mandated to have a parental, protective relationship with its students.

When the civil suit filed by the abused woman tried to point this out and remind the DOE of its job to protect, it had the ridiculous response that it has no relationship to students or a responsibility to protect them. Their statement was basically, The DOE doesen’t have “a special relationship between (us) the state, and (the girl) the plaintiff,” nor with the defendants “sufficient to impose a duty upon the state to protect the plaintiff from the alleged conduct in this complaint.”

What!? The DOE has no relationship to its students!? This is their only job and they are shirking it.

God help us if everyone cannot see the BS here.

Like other school officials in this case, they are running as far away from this crime as they can. I guess getting involved with a rape case would look bad on the resume.

Let’s go over what happened one night in Kona on Sept. 3, 2016. Two high school boys raped and beat up the victim on a soccer field. In the middle of the beating, a Good Samaritan had the guts and morals to stop them.

The school and the judicial system aren’t helping. The school system is shunning the girl, and the judge, according to a recent WHT editorial, reduced the bail for one the alleged rapists, whose trial started this week. Everyone’s getting a helping hand but the victim.

The DOE should be rushing to the vicitm’s side with an apology and give her whatever monetary compensation she asks for.

At the time of the evil incident, the two boys names were splashed across the headlines, they had been attending Kealakehe High School for some time, yet the principal of the school had no idea if they even attended the school. What?!

Why didn’t he walk 30 feet down the halls or so and check the whereabouts of the two students? Or pick up the phone and ask the attendance secretary? Very hinky.

It’s just too bad. Sadly, we see this scenario play out in schools across the country. Some bullied or bad student flips out and does some horrendous act like rape or worse and everyone says, “I read his Facebook page, we should have seen it coming.”


Please, teachers, administrators, parents, look around right now and see it coming and then act to protect us all.

Dennis Gregory writes a bimonthly column for West Hawaii Today and welcomes your comments at