Kapa’a Elementary teacher still under investigation

The Kapa’a Elementary School teacher under investigation since April for sexual assault of students remains on administrative leave from teaching by order of the state Department of Education.

The Kaua’i Police Department said the case was turned over to the county prosecutor’s office in June.

Prosecuting attorney Russell Goo said that police reports are still being reviewed in the ongoing investigation.

The main concern of the Hawai’i Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) is for the investigations to clear the teacher of all charges before he is able to return to school, said John Friedman, the immediate past president of the PTSA at Kapa’a Elementary School.

“Any time that there’s accusations of sexual misconduct on the part of a teacher, we believe that those allegations should be investigated thoroughly and sometimes that makes it difficult, especially if there might be false allegations,” Friedman said.

Kaua’i School Superintendent Danny Hamada said the alleged incidents occurred on the Kapa’a Elementary School campus during the 2001-02 school year, but could not say how many children were involved or what grade levels they were in at the time.

Hamada said that several children involved have been interviewed in a DOE investigation, and the ones who are off-island for the summer will be interviewed upon their return to Kaua’i.

“Until the case is finished, he will still be on administrative leave,” Hamada said.

Kapa’a Elementary starts its school year on July 25.

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at kmanguchei@ pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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