Future of school head still uncertain
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau
LIHU'E, Kaua'i The board of a tiny west Kaua'i charter school, in an uproar over its administrator's assault conviction last week, held an emergency meeting last night and called a special meeting for Thursday to hear from parents and the community.
Board members could not be reached for details of last night's meeting.
The chairman of the affiliated Aupuni O Niihau board of directors, Keao NeSmith, yesterday said that panel believes Sullivan must go.
Sullivan pleaded guilty last week to two counts of felony assault on her 11-year-old son, who told authorities he was tied up and beaten with a bat. A doctor's report described severe bruises to the face and injuries to the neck and wrists.
Sullivan is scheduled for sentencing in March and is facing a possible sentence of five years in prison for each count.
The boy and his younger brother have been removed from the family's Waimea home and placed in foster care, said Derick Dahilig, public information officer for the state Department of Human Services.
He said privacy concerns prevent him from disclosing the state's plans for the children.
Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha is charter school for grades K-12 that caters to the children of Ni'ihau families. It has 35 students.
Two boards are associated with Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha. One is the school's local board, presided over by Kanahele, which hires its employees and runs the school. The second board, Aupuni O Niihau, accepts grants for the school, and has recently arranged to buy the old Waimea Dispensary building as a permanent home for the school.
The school's local board is holding a meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at the school. The meeting was called at the urging of Jim Shon, executive director of the state Charter Schools Administrative Office.
NeSmith said he is wary of how the meeting will be handled, but feels that a public airing is the only way to resolve the school's problems.
"I am saddened that it is our school's students and reputation that is suffering, but this is the only way our issues will be dealt with," he said.
Reach Jan TenBruggencate at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 245-3074.