Kamehameha Schools has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the families of four former students of a teacher who is accused of secretly recording students showering in his faculty apartment.
The now-former speech teacher and debate team coach, Gabriel Alisna, is awaiting criminal trial in state court on felony violation of privacy charges involving three of the students and misdemeanor sexual assault charges involving one of the three.
The $5 million settlement comes on the heels of an $80 million settlement, announced in February, between the educational trust for Hawaiian children and 32 plaintiffs who claimed a psychiatrist sexually abused them or their family members while students at the Kapalama campus decades ago.
Michael Green, the lawyer who represents the families of the four students, says Kamehameha Schools lawyers did not ask him to keep the settlement confidential.
“I truly believe the trustees want this to be a message that they will do whatever they believe is proper for the kids,” Green said, “And I think they’re taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The lawsuit claims that KS officials should have known about Alisna’s action and taken steps to prevent it but didn’t, and faults the officials for their handling of the matter after they discovered it. The settlement, which was acknowledged by both parties today and is being finalized this week, dismisses those claims.
KS Chief Executive Officer Jack Wong said, “Together we agreed resolution was the right thing to do and we remain committed to seeing Alisna held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”