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Judge OKs $5.75M settlement in sex abuse case against school

By Nelson Daranciang

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:30 p.m. HST, Apr 22, 2013


A federal judge granted final approval this morning of a $5.75 million settlement over allegations of students at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind sexually abusing other students and a cover up by state education officials.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin S.C. Chang said he found that “the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate and reasonable.”

The state is responsible for paying $5 million of the settlement. 

Scott O’Neal, a former counselor at the school, is responsible for paying $750,000.

The state also agreed to make a number of safety improvements, where feasible, at the Kapahulu campus and in school buses. 

The school serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 and is the only public school in the state for deaf and blind students.

Students who were sexually abused at the school or on school buses by other students or school staff since Aug. 10, 2001 are to receive payments of $20,000, $75,000 and $200,000 based on how their experiences affected them.







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cojef wrote:
Shame on the people that abused and raped the handicapped children. No mention was made as who the responsible misfits are. They need to be named as often as possible as these are no ordinary criminals, they are predators.
on April 22,2013 | 12:05PM
kiragirl wrote:
Not to mention school officials who failed miserably in protecting the victims.
on April 22,2013 | 12:19PM
1local wrote:
take the money from the Union's fund - the abusers are Union members who should have been supervising the kids and also it was union members that tried ot cover it up...
on April 22,2013 | 01:00PM
hikine wrote:
I totally agree. The officials should also pay out of pocket because of their action of the cover-up! They should all be fired and replaced!! The most vulnerable are always the prey, they were deaf and/or blind kids for goodness sake, it's sick!
on April 22,2013 | 08:14PM
serious wrote:
This happens too many times in a lawsuit against a corporation and the company pays--i.e. the shareholders pay---same here the TAXPAYERS pay. I know how the system works--the victims are in for the $$$$$$, why doesn't the state get criminal charges against these people and throw them in jail and throw away the key?
on April 22,2013 | 12:34PM
Bully wrote:
Scott McNeil Counselor at the school is responsible for $750, 000 of the settlement and if he cannot pay then the state of hawaii tax payers will get stuck with the whole bill. What about making the people who covered up the abuses personally liable too.?
on April 22,2013 | 01:04PM
Allenk wrote:
The attorneys go after which ever entity can yield the larger payoff. Then again, those in responsibility should be lambasted!
on April 22,2013 | 03:51PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Were these people charged with these crimes?
on April 22,2013 | 01:11PM
HOSSANA wrote:
As a former middle school counselor, I have no sympathy for the counselor at this school as he neglected his responsibility as a counselor to provide support for these disabled kids and that goes for the administrative staff, also, as they all should be removed from their positions, if not, already.
on April 22,2013 | 01:34PM
gmedley wrote:
It must have been a difficult case to process. The individuals involved were deaf or blind or both. Getting answers to the two main questions ("What did you see? What did you hear?") must have seemeed futile.
on April 22,2013 | 01:51PM
poidragon wrote:
"U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin S.C. Chang said he found that “the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate and reasonable. Students who were sexually abused at the school or on school buses by other students or school staff since Aug. 10, 2001 are to receive payments of $20,000, $75,000 and $200,000 based on how their experiences affected them. The state also agreed to make a number of safety improvements, where feasible, at the Kapahulu campus and in school buses. The state is responsible for paying $5 million of the settlement. " Well find and dandy, but who do you think the State of Hawaii gets its money from? That's right, it collects taxes from it's citizens who end up footing the bill for any and all transgressions that our State government is found guilty of; while none of the politicians, executives, directors or personnel are held accountable! Whats worse is no one from the school itself is being held accountable for what happened on its campus!
on April 22,2013 | 04:21PM
ejkorvette wrote:
No jail time? No punishment other than fines? Hawaii is so INEPT!!! From Top to Middle, the so-called Administration are nothing more than Corrupt, Conniving, Grinning Immoral Devils. Of all Nationalities. I hope all of them get their comeuppance, Karma, Just Deserts. Reap what you Sow!!!
on April 22,2013 | 06:05PM
skamitaki wrote:
666 is the number of a man. what profits a man/woman to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? what would you give in exchange for your own soul? the state eduction officials and all the rapist need to think about this one day.
on April 22,2013 | 07:58PM
artmurch wrote:
Go preach you fairy tales some where else!
on April 23,2013 | 06:08AM
skamitaki wrote:
U.S Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang took an oath on the bible on the day he became a judge. God will honor his oath. Woe to the Judge who acquits the guilty and condemns the innocent. One day God will require you of your soul, what excuses will you have.
on April 22,2013 | 09:20PM
artmurch wrote:
Go preach you fairy tales some where else!
on April 23,2013 | 06:08AM
kukaikid wrote:
no jail time???
on April 23,2013 | 05:46AM
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