Parents with children at Waimea Middle Public Charter School report that more than half of the 280 students were kept home for at-home schooling days on Monday, as a protest against the departure of their beloved principal, John Colson. Parents and community members also took part in sign waving this morning, and plan additional sign wavings at the main Waimea intersection Tuesday and Wednesday mornings around 7 a.m.
Interim Principal Megan McCorriston, who also serves as President of the school’s independent school board based on Oahu, was not at the school today for comment. The school office reports she is not scheduled to return until Thursday.
Parent Brenda Case Resendiz says she met with McCorriston on Friday, and McCorriston said her goal was to “return a sense of normalcy” to Waimea Middle School. Resendiz says she was quite surprised to find out that McCorriston had not planned to be on campus for the first three days of this week. She says for Waimea Middle School, “normalcy” is having a principal on property, greeting the kids at 7 a.m. and welcoming them to school, and taking an active role in their education. Resendiz says she told McCorriston she’d follow up on Monday and was surprised to find McCorriston missing. Resendiz says her sole concern is her 8th grade daughter’s education, especially her performance on the upcoming Hawaii State Assessment tests, set for late February, as next year, her daughter will be entering high school.
Board Chair Keith Vieria, is also CEO of Starwood Resorts and is out of town in Japan until late Tuesday.
A number of community members have sent copies of letters to the media which they have addressed to the Ho’okako’o Corp. expressing concern they’ve violated the community’s trust and asking for them to reestablish communication with the community–and additionally, reinstate Mr. Colson. Vivienne Aronowitz, Chairman of the Board of the Mala’ai Garden, which is the Waimea Middle School’s culinary garden, wrote “We find your actions of the last week extremely distressing and undermining to the health and well-being of students and this community. This is a community school, meaning that the wishes of this community need to be considered in any major action. We do not believe that you have acted in the interest of our children and this community and entreat you to reconsider your actions. We trust that you will hear the loud chorus in Waimea and reverse your actions knowing that the welfare of these students needs to be the top priority.”
Colson has not commented to the media.
For previous information on this situation, go here: