Withdraw Hawaii Senate Bill 2323

This petition made change with 4,704 supporters!

Hawaii Senate Bill 2323  was introduced by State Senates Kaiali‘i Kahele, Brickwood Galuteria, Lorraine R. Inouye, Michelle N. Kidani , Stanley Chang,
Donovan M. Dela Cruz, Donna Mercado Kim, Maile S.L. Shimabukuro, and Glenn Wakai on January 19, 2018 .


This legislation would require that any family wishing to home educated their child/children via traditional homeschool or via online public charter schools be subject to a Child Protective Services investigation and get “permission” to home educate. This proposed state mandate would require  CPS to conduct achild abuse and neglect history inquiry regarding the child intended to be home schooled and any other child residing in the home of the child intended to be home schooled; and
Provided information to the department to conduct a backaround check of the parent or legal guardian and any other adult residing in the home of the child intended to be home schooled.


The stated purpose of these investigations would be for the agency to determine if it is "in the best interest of the child to grant admission" to the online charter school or to grant the excuse from public school attendance to home educate.  This oversteps government authority and violates the civil liberties of these parents and children. It will also further stress Child Protective Services, which is already overwhelmed.


SB2323 is a response to the tragic deaths of “Peter Boy” Kema, who died in 1997 after his parents were allowed to homeschool him despite their history of child abuse and neglect, and 2016 starvation death of 9-year-old Shaelynn Lehano. It was the failure of Child Protective Services to protect this children. The tragic death of these 2 children is not due to any attempt to home educate and has nothing to do with home education. This was a complete failure of the agency to carry out their responsibilities under existing laws and regulations designed to protect children. There is nothing in SB2323 that would have prevented these deaths. CPS was involved with both cases for years before the kids were pulled out of public school to homeschool and yet the agency was unable to stop it.


Though we extend our heartfelt condolences to the family's of Peter Kema and Shaelynn Lehano , we respectfully ask that this bill be withdrawn. As well intentioned as this law may be, it will unfortunately not prevent child abuse.

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