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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not-guilty pleas from 12 who held sit-in at Lingle's office

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Raine Higa, 8, accompanies her mother, Marguerite Higa, center, who appeared in District Court along with 11 others, to plead not guilty to trespass citations received at the governorís office to protest school furloughs. At right is fellow defendant Clare Hanusz.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Twelve people who staged a sit-in at Gov. Linda Lingle's office to protest teacher furlough days pleaded not guilty to trespass charges yesterday in District Court.

An Aug. 3 trial date was set.

Two other people scheduled to be arraigned yesterday were absent.

Six others who received citations and four who were arrested will be arraigned today and tomorrow.

The protesters are members of an ad hoc parents group called Save Our Schools.

They conducted the sit-in in hopes of prodding Lingle to end school furloughs that have left Hawai'i with the shortest instructional calendar in the nation.

Their lawyer, Eric Seitz, said most of the charges are for trespassing violations, which carry fines of up to $500. Four are charged with petty misdemeanors, which could result in higher fines and possible jail time.