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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court — SCAP-16-0000475

No. SCAP-16-0000475, Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 10 a.m.

CHELSEA-MARIE KEALOHALANI CLARABAL, individually and as next friend of Daughter 1 and Daughter 2, minors, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OF THE STATE OF HAWAI I; KATHRYN S. MATAYOSHI, in her official capacity as Superintendent of the Department of Education; DONALD G. HORNER, in his official capacity as Chairman of the Board of Education; BRIAN J. DELIMA; KEITH AMEMIYA; AMY ASSELBAYE; NANCY JO YAMAKAWA BUDD; GRANT W.M. CHUN; PATRICIA HALAGAO; CHERYL KA UHANE LUPENUI; and JIM D. WILLIAMS, in their official capacities as members of the Board of Education; HAWAI I TEACHER STANDARDS BOARD, Defendants-Appellees.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

Supreme Court Courtroom
Ali iolani Hale, 2nd Floor
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellant:

Sharla A. Manley, Camille Kaimalie Kalama, and David Kauila Kopper

Attorney for Defendants-Appellees:

Kimberly Tsumoto Guidry, Deputy Attorney General

NOTE: Order granting Application for Transfer, filed 01/26/17.

COURT: MER, CJ; PAN, SSM, RWP, and MDW, JJ.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief Description:

This case presents the issue of whether Defendant-Appellees State Department of Education (DOE), Board of Education (BOE), and Hawai`i Teacher Standards Board (HTSB) (collectively, “the State Defendants”) are constitutionally required to provide a Hawaiian Language immersion program on the island of Lana`i.

Plaintiff-Appellant Chelsa-Marie Clarabal (Clarabal) is the mother of two elementary school-aged daughters who currently attend L na i High and Elementary School (L na i School). She appeals the Circuit Court of the First Circuit’s (circuit court) order granting summary judgment to the State Defendants. This court then accepted transfer of this case from the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

On appeal, Clarabal argues that the circuit court erred when it granted summary judgment to the State Defendants and denied her motion for partial summary judgment. In support of her argument, Clarabal claims that Lana`i is the only island that does not provide a Hawaiian Language immersion program. She therefore alleges that the State Defendants’ failure to provide such a program violates several provisions of the
Hawai`i Constitution, including Article X, section 4 (Hawaiian Education provision); Article XII, section 7 (traditional and customary rights provision); and Article I, section 5 (equal protection provision).

In a related claim, Clarabal also alleges that the State Defendants failed to provide her children with an “adequate and equal education” pursuant to Article X, section 1 of the Hawai`i Constitution.