Students, parents sit-in at Governor’s office to demand end to furloughs

Ikaika M Hussey

HONOLULU—Wednesday night, 10 adults and 15 children began a sit-in at the Governor’s office after being denied a meeting with Gov. Linda Lingle to discuss Furlough Fridays.

Teresa Kessenich-Chase, a University of Hawaii graduate student, said that the group, Save Our Schools Hawaii, wants Lingle to end the school furloughs and to negotiate directly with the Board of Education and the teachers union.

Save Our Schools said they plan on occupying the Governor’s office for as long as they are able and demand that Lingle show up and take leadership in resolving the furlough issue, which they feel she started.

The peaceful protesters slept over Wednesday night with no electricity, food, or facilities—the parents and students were reportedly cut off from bathroom facilities and locked in the Governor’s office throughout the night. Save Our Schools Hawaii is currently organizing further sit-in shifts for Thursday and Friday through Facebook and are asking participants to bring sleeping bags, food, flashlights, fans, and media equipment.

No arrests have been made.