February 07, 2008

Hawai'i School Board Fires Ombuds

Elsbeth "Beth" McKeen who has served as the Hawai'i Board of Education Ombudsman since July 2004, claims she was terminated without explanation on January 23. According to McKeen, school board Executive Director Galen Onouye, gave her the option to resign or be fired. "It was a surprise. I was shocked," McKeen said. "I have a lot of positive feedback from people I have served." She said Onouye would tell her only that school board leaders chose to eliminate her position. McKeen said she averaged more than 300 calls each year, mostly from parents dissatisfied with how schools addressed concerns ranging from bullying to complaints about teachers. (Honolulu Star Bulletin; Hawai'i BOE Ombuds Site; Hawai'i BOE Audit Committee Minutes re Ombuds Report.)

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