Gay Big Island father says he and two sons are victims of hate crimes

(Image: Joshua Franklin Alameda)
(Image: Joshua Franklin Alameda)
(Image: Joshua Franklin Alameda)
(Image: Joshua Franklin Alameda)

PAHOA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - A gay Big Island father whose home and car were targeted with slurs about his sexual orientation says he and his two sons fear for their safety.

Joshua Franklin Alameda, of Pahoa, said someone sprayed the graffiti on his property Sunday.

"There are no words the feeling you get when you've been victimized like that," said Alameda. "I just never had that type of experience before where I felt so helpless. I immediately freaked out and called police."

Alameda said this isn't the first time he and his two biological sons from a previous marriage have endured harassment. In fact, they say, the harassment has been happening for years.

"It makes me feel sad," said one of his sons, who's 12.

In a Skype interview Tuesday, Alameda's son said he was bullied repeatedly at his Pahoa charter school, Kua O Ka La.  Alameda pulled both his boys from the school two weeks ago.

"I want to see them actually do something about it and I want them to make this stop," the child said.

Alameda added, "I think administrators that don't do anything about it are just as guilty as the perpetrators."

The father has a lawsuit pending against the state Department of Education, claiming that the school system failed to protect his boys from bullies. Fearing for their safety, he says he has transferred his children to four different schools in the past six years.

"Until we can get teachers held accountable and administrators held accountable for not reporting and not following policy, then how am I to feel safe sending my children to school knowing that they're not going to do anything when my son is called a faggot or a queer?" he asked.

Hawaii News Now reached out to Kua O Ka La and the DOE for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

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