Alleged sex assault raises questions about a requirement

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A recent sexual assault case involving a special education student and an educational aide is causing the Department of Education to take a closer look at one of its requirements.

It all has to do with a self-reporting law, where educators admit to any arrests or convictions. But it doesn't exist here and some say it may help prevent future incidents.

It's back to the books and pens for students and teachers all over Hawaii.

But while the backpacks are packed full of supplies, some parents feel there's something missing, a requirement for educators to report any arrests or convictions.

"I feel they should be required to report anything that they do illegal, especially like if you have sexual assaults or DUI's or drug abuse," a concerned parent said.

Education officials say the recent case involving a former McKinley High School educational aide has caused them to go back to the chalkboard to possibly make some changes.

"What steps or where should we look to, to further ensure that we continue to have a safe workplace as well as safe schools," Department of Education spokesperson, Sandra Goya said.

Parents feel it's a matter of trust between them, their sons or daughters and teachers.

"Cuz it's safety for the kids and safety for the parents, knowing that the school is well-informed of all their workers," a parent said.

Knowing what happens in and out of the classroom is a compromise for all involved.

Education officials say they have to maintain the integrity of the law, which means they also have to make sure a teacher's rights aren't violated.