Parents raise concerns about Kalaheo High principal

Parents raise concerns about Kalaheo High principal

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly 500 people have signed an online petition demanding Kalaheo School Principal Susan Hummel resign.

Parent Christina Griffin said Hummel doesn't respond to complaints and hasn't been clear about a recent safety incident.

"The non-responsiveness is a big issue. There's several parents voicing the same concern that I am," she said.

But Hummel said she tries to respond to urgent calls within 24 to 48 hours. "I'm trying very hard to make sure that communication goes out in a timely manner when it has to do with school-wide events, school-wide issues," she said.

The issues at Kalaheo High appear to have been made worse by a recent fire in a student restroom. Parents question why no fire alarm was pulled.  Hummel said it wasn't necessary because the fire was put out with extinguishers.

Griffin believes students were put at risk.

"A fire alarm should have been pulled. Class should have been canceled. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case," she said.

Meanwhile, last month, a transformer blew and knocked out power to part of the campus. Hummel said the fire department advised against an evacuation.

"At no time was there any danger of a fire in any of the classrooms," she said.

Another complaint is over a tardiness policy. Late students serve detention during lunch, eating their meals in a classroom.

"When I brought up the concerns of children not getting enough time for lunch it took about a week just to get a response," Griffin said.

Hummel said the policy doesn't prevent students from eating lunch.

And she invites parents who have complaints to contact her immediately

"Some of my decisions may not be wildly popular. But I do make decisions that I feel are in the best interests of our students and our staff and the parents that trust us to educate their children," she said.

Hummel has been Kalaheo's principal for eight years.

The DOE said a superintendent is now working with Hummel to address parents' complaints and concerns.

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