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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 10, 2010

Furloughs sit-in moves to Washington Place, protestors vow to stick around

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Members of Save Our Schools took their sit-in protest over furloughs from the governor's office to out front of her residence today. They vowed to stay through the weekend.

Andrew Shimabuku

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A group of protesters have moved their sit-in out of the governor's office to the front of her historic residence across the street and vow to keep up the pressure until school furloughs end.

Despite the trespassing citations issued to seven people on day three of their sit-in at the governor's office over public school furloughs, the group vowed to keep up the pressure.

"We'll be here throughout the weekend," said Clare Hanusz. "We'll be here on the sidewalk until Monday. We hope that the parties who can end the furloughs are working through the weekend too."

It was a symbolic gesture to move the protest outside the governor's residence. While she doesn't live there, it is where past governors have lived.

If on Monday, when the state Capitol reopens, and the furloughs have not been eliminated, the sit-in will move back into the governor's office, said Hanusz, a parent of two children at Noelani Elementary School.

The adults are part of a group of parents demanding to meet with Gov. Linda Lingle to find a way to end the public school furlough days. Save Our Schools began the sit-in Wednesday night in the governor's reception area.

This morning cars zipped by on busy Beretania Street, honking their horns in support of their protest. Children and adults sat on the sidewalk drawing up new poster board signs throughout the day.

Furloughs began on Oct. 23. The union representing the teachers, the state Board of Education and the governor agreed to a total of 34 furlough days over the next two years. So far students have not had school 13 of the planned 17 furlough days for this school year.