Parents file suit against DOE for poor bullying practices


Parents are stepping forward claiming Hawaii’s public schools are not keeping kids safe from bullies, and inadequate procedures are to blame. They’ve filed a lawsuit against the state Thursday. 

The suit lists three different children who attended Wailuku Elementary, Mililani Middle, and Castle High School. This is also filed on behalf of all student victims who suffered similar situations. 

According to the lawsuit, the schools took no action, revealing the DOE’s inadequate policies, procedures, and practices for responding to and preventing bullying.

At Mililani Middle School, the suit claims a student was subject to racial harassment and physical assault by multiple students. 

“I can’t explain to you how much hurt it brought to me. It made me mad and angry at the same time. There wasn’t anyone really to talk to at my school,” said the student. 

“The administration failed me because as I reached out as a parent, their response, they did nothing,” said her mother Marchet Denise Fullum. 

At Wailuku Elementary School on Maui, the suit claims a child was sexually harassed and received threats to kill her and choke her in the bathroom which she was afraid to use. 

At Castle High School, the suit says a student reported a physical threat she received but the school did not investigate. She was later assaulted on the bus and suffered a concussion. 

“It’s not something that is going to leave my life,” the student said, “there’s still sometimes I look back and it’s still scary because I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“She suffered life threatening injuries. She had a concussion. She has trouble with her eye, she can’t move her eye,” said Sandee Niblock, the student’s mother. 

As a result, these two girls had to relocated to another school. 

We reached out to DOE and a spokeswoman tells us:

“Unfortunately, due to the pending litigation, we’re unable to provide information or a comment.”

On the DOE website, when an incident happens, the principal investigates and possibly make an entry in the student support database, which tracks the student’s concerns.

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