Elementary School parents critical of DOE after alleged sex assa - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Elementary School parents critical of DOE after alleged sex assault on campus

Kanoelani Elementary School Kanoelani Elementary School
James Holt James Holt
WAIPIO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The details are disturbing. A little boy goes to the bathroom at Kanoelani Elementary School in Waipio at 10:30 in the morning and is allegedly fondled by the school custodian.

The boy told the teacher right away and the school's Vice Principal called police.

The custodian, 53-year old James Holt, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault.

That happened Wednesday, August 27. Six days later, the school sent a note home with all students alerting parents about the investigation.

"That's unacceptable," says Alyson Tugaoen, who has two kids attending Kanoelani Elementary.

Tugaoen says the school should have sent a basic letter out Thursday, the day after, with some details. Especially because Holt was arrested on school grounds.

"The bare minimum that I think a parent would want to know that the person who is out there who was arrested for this is no longer able to do this to another child," she says.

The Department of Education says the school acted appropriately. The spokeswoman called this an isolated incident and says the principal did the right thing when the alleged assault happened.

The DOE also says the school was still doing the initial investigation Thursday and that's why a note was not sent home then. There were no classes Friday and Monday was a holiday.

The letter also alerted parents that a news crew was also going to broadcast the story.

Tugaoen says that made her even more angry because she feels the school wouldn't have notified parents at all, if the media hadn't gotten involved.

"What else are they not telling us?," she says.

Holt has been an employee for 14 years. He did pass a background check and there isn't anything that Hawaii News Now found that would raise flags in his criminal history.

Holt was charged with third-degree sexual assault and is out on a $50,000 bail. He did not answer the door to his home or answer our phone calls.

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