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Kamehameha Schools Admissions Policy Controversy

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Many scholars have argued that Kamehameha School has a racially exclusionary policy of admission. For one to be admitted at the school, a prospective student must provide proof that he is a Kanaka Maoli. They also have to pass an entrance examination and are subjected to a personal interview.

Kanaka Maoli are Hawaiians of pure or part aboriginal blood. In support of the admission policy, I think it is not racially exclusionary because all races are represented in the origins of the students a t the school. The only requirement is that a child must at least have one Kanaka Maoli ancestor.

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Secondly, there must be a reason behind this policy. In an ever increasing globalized setting, indigenous communities are in the verge of extinction. This is more so due to the marginalized nature of such communities and the fact that they cannot compete in a level field with other members of society. This is the objective that the school has, in seeking to empower the Kanaka Maoli descendants.

Lastly, Kamehameha School is a private institution. That being the case, they have a right to admission of any person in the school. They have a right to determine who becomes a student and who becomes an employe. They reserve the right to accept any applications in pursuit of admission, employment, as well as tenders. It is the precise nature of private enterprise. We are not going to say that the academic threshold subscribed to is discriminatory to slow students.

The trustees of the school have a primary responsibility to maintain and performance of the school. To do that they have to have bare minimums for all the elements that have an effect on this two responsibilities.

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On the contrary, more than 80% of children in Hawaiicannot be admitted into the school for no reason other than their failure to reach the threshold on genetic makeup. Requiring a specific component of ancestry is as discriminatory as prohibiting another component. The policy can not only be looked at as requiring Kanaka Maoli heritage but prohibiting those without the heritage. Hiss is purely discriminatory. In Rice v. Cayetano decision the court simply stated that Ancestry can be a proxy for race. Going by this decision, the intention of the school is to exclude students, not of the right race.

Kamehameha School is on a government subsidy every fiscal year in the form of tax exemption. An institution such as this immediately loses the absolute privatee enterprise tag and becomes a subject of public interest. In this regard, if any of their policies is repugnant to justice, morality or the general interest of the public then it is either that policy is redundant or the benefit enjoyed by them from the government should be aptly withdrawn.

Thirdly, and more so on the argument of a logical objective behind this policy, the Princess’ will does not  set out an  exclusionary admissions policy in its terms. This is merely an exercise of discretionary authority by the trustees. The trustees have executed this policy by choice and not by compulsion. The only reference to race is the proclamation in the Princess’ will that only orphans and indigents were to benefit from apportion of annual income from the school. This is not an absolute guarantee but a preference. A preference does not also include exclusion of others.

The arguments set here are based on the freedoms of private enterprise, racial discrimination and contents of a will subject to discretionary powers. In conclusion, a will is subject to the municipal law of the United States of America and international conventions against racial discrimination. No argument in the will can be used to justify an infraction on the law.

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