UH professor behind controversial comments against Kamehameha schools apologizes

John Learned is a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
John Learned is a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.(HNN File)
Updated: Sep. 22, 2019 at 1:52 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The UH professor at the center of controversial comments against Kamehameha Schools has issued an apology.

Last week, a clip of tenured University of Hawaii physics professor John Learned surfaced online. He was recorded saying, “We know that the Kam Schools are academically not successful.”

He also claimed that a Kamehameha Schools physics teacher was passing students who could not read.

In a statement released Sunday, Learned said in full:

“I would like to sincerely apologize for my comments about Kamehameha Schools and to every member of the Kamehameha Schools community. My remarks were inappropriate. I have apologized to the UH faculty member who is a Kamehameha Schools graduate and was present when I made the comments. I will truly never know the extent of the pain my words have caused her and everyone connected to Kamehameha Schools. As President Lassner said, Kamehameha Schools is a trusted and valued partner to the university, and I am very sorry for causing such distress in both institutions. I cannot undo what has been done, but please know that I regret it deeply.”

The comments were recorded by UH College of Education assistant professor, Summer Maunakea during a lecture on TMT. Maunakea, who is a Kamehameha alumna, said she went to the lecture to learn about the other point of view in the ongoing divide.

The University along with Kamehameha Schools were quick to condemn Learned’s comments.

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