It looks like the state Board of Education may head back to the drawing board — blackboard? — to review a policy on teacher travel that was prompted by a now-voided ethics opinion.
That state Ethics Commission order, challenged by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, arose from complaints about teachers arranging private travel for student groups and receiving free travel in the process.
Circuit Court Judge Rhonda Nishimura faulted the advisory opinion for being issued after deadline and said it is subject to formal rulemaking. But in this case, the opinion was what prompted a new policy for how school-related trips and those that are strictly supplemental should be arranged. Let’s hope the BOE doesn’t abandon what seems to be an improvement in policy.
Let adoptees see their adoption records
Adoptees shouldn’t have to wait until their biological parents die to learn their identities, which was the case with Jeffery Guillemette, who was given up for adoption in 1951. Obstacles in Hawaii law related to the release of adoption records made it too costly and risky to learn his mother’s identity while she was still alive.
Guillemette asked lawmakers for help, and this year the state Legislature passed House Bill 2082, which would give adoptees who are at least 18 years old unrestricted access to their adoption records — a step that about 15 other states have taken. Gov. David Ige should sign HB 2082 into law.
Guillemette only recently learned the identities of his birth parents, and this month he visited his mother’s gravesite at Punchbowl Cemetery.