For Hawaii Residents
The Deparment of Education's Office of Civil Rights will be taking testimonies of school related discrimination. If you or someone you know has a story about being bullied in school or being wrongfully mistreated because you're Micronesian, this is an opportunity to be heard. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct you to someone who can record your story.
Excerprt from OCR spokesperson:
OCR (Offic of Civil Rights) is conducting a compliance review of the Hawaii Department of Education about harassment and bullying based on sex, race, color, national origin, or disability. These categories are very broad and would include bullying that occurs based on a student's being Micronesian or from a COFA nation.
Ideally, OCR would like to speak directly with families or students who have experienced discrimination. I understand that it can be very difficult for families to share their stories, and that many are also concerned about retaliation. These interviews are not 100% confidential, but it is unlikely someone would be able to identify who OCR interviewed. Anyone interviewed is also legally protected from retaliation.
If people are not comfortable sharing their experiences, we can also report them anonymously. If we do not get stories about students' experiences, OCR will not be able to determine that they are in non-compliance. Data is not enough--they need information about specific incidents.
The good news about this is that we now have a chance to tell the federal government about what students here are experiencing. If the Hawaii Department of Education is found to be out of compliance, OCR will enter into a consent decree that will include the steps that Hawaii DOE will need to take to address the harassment and civil rights problems.