6 Dec 2006

Hawaii school gets right use race when choosing students

4:37 pm on 6 December 2006

A private school for native Hawaiians has been given court approval allowing it to favour applicants based on their race.

A U.S. appeals court cited the unique history and relationship between Hawaii and the United States in its ruling.

The ruling reverses an earlier decision which had sided with a minor, identified as John Doe, who had applied to and was rejected by the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii.

The three campus private school, which does not receive federal money, was formed by the last direct descendant of the Hawaiian monarchy and its admissions policy gives preference to students of native Hawaiian ancestry.

The earlier ruling said this amounted to racial discrimination.

But the new decision says that since the school does not take federal funds, is a private organization and has the sympathy of a federal government seeking to improve the lives of indigenous peoples, it may continue its admissions policy.