Hawaii high school students stage walkout protesting placement of state flag
Dozens of students at a number of high schools across Hawaii walked out of class Thursday morning in a show of protest against the placement of the state flag.
Students from a number of schools walked out of class in a show of resistance against the placement of the state flag.
One of the biggest protests happened on Maui at Hana High School, which also attracted members of the community.
Demonstrators lowered the American flag and exclusively raised the Hawaiian flag.
The teenage protestors are advocating for every school campus to be equipped with two flag poles so the national and state flag fly side by side.
The protests were organized by Hana High junior Jesiah Malaikini.
“I feel that so much could be accomplished with just one little task,” Malaikini said.
On March 14, he switched the position's of the school's flags, the demonstration got him suspended.
He told Island News seeing the Hawaiian flag beneath the American one always bothered him.
It’s a feeling many other students share. Some linking it to the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement.
“It's time to bring out the truth and not the lies that they've been telling us for how many years already. Now is the time to stand up and rise up again," Nakaula Kanaka'ole, Hana High School junior said.
Students tell Island News faculty warned they could be suspended for participating or banned from walking at graduation.
“And peaceful protest they would let them walk out on the road and protest for someone on the mainland but they wouldn't let them protest for their own country,” Malaikini said.
The department of education releasing this statement:
“We encourage students to discuss with school administrators any issue that they want addressed and changes that they want to effect. Student voice is valued and school administrators aim to work on solutions that meet the needs of school communities.”
No word yet on any plans to place additional flag poles on school campuses.
Similar protests at University of Hawaii campuses led the college to implement a two flag pole policy.