Hawai'i Academy of Arts and Sciences

A Big Island charter school will re-examine its disciplinary policies and train its faculty on when it is appropriate to search students to settle a lawsuit accusing the principal and his secretary of illegally strip-searching a 15-year-old girl.

The agreement settles a lawsuit filed in May 2003 by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai'i against Steve Hirakami, principal of the Hawai'i Academy of Arts and Sciences charter school in Pahoa, and his secretary, Andrea Irvine…

The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of the student identified as "Jane Doe," and her mother, who said her daughter was forced to remove her clothes after she and two other students — one male, one female — were accused of stealing $30 from a school van driver on Jan. 30, 2003.

According to the lawsuit, Hirakami and Hawai'i County police questioned the students and searched their belongings, but no cash turned up.

Hirakami then ordered Irvine to conduct strip-searches of the two girls, the lawsuit said…

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