Civil Rights Compliance Branch (CRCB)

The CRCB, in the Office of Talent Management, is committed to the Hawaii State Department of Education's overall compliance with Federal, State, departmental Administrative Rules, and Policies, which strictly prohibit any form of discrimination.

​Commitment to student civil rights

The Department is committed to making every Hawai'i public school a safe place for every student.

​​​​​​Our Mission: Respect Diversity

The CRCB is committed to the Department's overall compliance with Federal, State, departmental Administrative Rules, and Policies, which strictly prohibit any form of discrimination, including harassment and/or retaliation based upon a protected class, as it relates to students, employees, and members of the public who access our services, programs, and activities. 

Protected classes include: race; sex, including gender identity and gender expression; age; religion; color; ancestry; sexual orientation; citizenship; national origin; military/veteran status; disability; marital/civil union status; arrest and court record; genetic information; credit history; domestic or sexual violence victim status. The CRCB oversees the Department's compliance with Federal laws that include, but are not limited to: Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972, also known as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and as amended in 1991; Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and as amended in 2008; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to name a few.

The CRCB also coordinates and responds on behalf of the Department to complaints that have been filed by individual employees and/or parents with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC); and the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). When required the CRCB follows up with corrective action plans and compliance requirements with OCR, EEOC, HCRC, the United States Department of Justice; the Office of the State Director for Career and Technical Education; and coordinates data request and other compliance requirements with the State Office of Language Access​.

The CRCB also conducts internal investigations of complaints arising from alleged protected class discrimination, harassment, or bullying from employees, students or parents of our public schools, statewide, in matters pertaining to Board of Education Policies 305-10 and 900-1. (See Important policies and forms below.)

The CRCB coordinates requests for reasonable accommodations under the Superintendent’s Directive for employees, statewide. ​

The CRCB conducts Chapter 19​ Administrative Appeal Hearings and related activities as the Superintendent’s designee.

Important policies and forms

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment — Notice

Equal Educational Opportunity Policy — Brochure

Student Complaint Against Employee

Employee and Applicant Non-Discrimination Policy — Brochure

Hawaii Administrative Rules, Chapter 89 — Chapter 89

Reasonable Accommo​​​dations​ — Brochure

  • Form RA-1: Reasonable Accommodation: Request & Approval form
  • SP 0202: Standard Practice: Reasonable Accommodation
  • Form RA-3: Authorization to Release Medical Information for Reasonable Accommodation

Please complete the Form RA-1 and Form RA-3 for medical accommodation requests. For State-level employees, requests may be submitted to the CRCB ADA Specialist. For all other employees, requests may be submitted to the applicable CRCB Specialist for the Complex Area.

Religious Accommodation Request Form

For State and District level employees, requests may be submitted to the CRCB Title VII Specialist, Toby Yamashiro. For all other employees, requests may be submitted to the applicable CRCB Specialist for the Complex Area.

**UPDATE: 10/17/2022**

**IMPORTANT NOTICE regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirement for new employees**

The Department will no longer require newly hired employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 unless assigned to work in a congregate setting (e.g., House Parents at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and the Blind, or Dormitory Attendants for the Lahainaluna High School boarding program). 

Regarding requests for accommodations/exemptions from the Department’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for new employees assigned to work in a congregate setting:

  • Individuals seeking a medical/disability related accommodation/exemption must fill out and submit a Reasonable Accommodation request (see Form RA-1 and Form RA-3 linked above).  
  • Individuals seeking a religious accommodation/exemption must fill out and submit a Religious Accommodation request (see Religious Accommodation Request Form linked above).  

Please note that the CRCB will not process accommodation/exemption requests regarding the Department’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement for new employees assigned to work in a congregate setting unless the applicant has already received a conditional offer of employment from the Department. If you have not received a conditional offer of employment from the Department, please do not submit an accommodation request.

Examples of Non-Discrimination Laws

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools and colleges receiving federal funding. Sex based discrimination includes both sexual harassment and gender based harassment. Sexual harassment is unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Gender-based harassment is unwelcome conduct based on the individual's actual or perceived sex; and includes harassment based on gender identity and non-conformity with stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity. Title IX also covers gender equity in school athletic programs.

In accordance with the settlement agreement reached in A.B. et al v. Hawai‘i State Department of Education, et al, the interim and annual reports of the independent evaluator will be made publicly available. The first interim report details efforts taken by the independent evaluator from the date of the settlement agreement, on or about Oct. 9, 2023, until the date of this report, Jan. 26, 2024, and can be accessed here.

Interim Grievance Procedures for Sexual Harassment — Procedures

Guidance on Supports for Transgender Students — Guidance


Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities in federal funding.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a comprehensive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. To be covered by the ADA, one must have a disability, which is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.

  • Title I: Title I of the ADA pertains to the rights of individuals with disabilities in employment settings.  Under Title I of the ADA, an employer cannot discriminate against qualified applicants and employees on the basis of disability.
  • Title II: Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities.  Under Title II of the ADA, qualified individuals with disabilities cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their disability in services, programs, and activities that are provided by public entities.​
Section 504

A civil rights law that ensures that a student with a disability has equal access to an education. Section 504 entitles students to free and appropriate public education by providing a reasonable accommodation or modification for eligible students who are found to be "qualified disabled persons" under Section 504.

CRCB staff

State Support Team ​Contact
Regional Support Team

Beth Schimmelfennig

Compliance Specialist
Rhonda Wong

Title IX Specialist
Nicole Isa-Iijima

Title IX - Gender Equity in Athletics Specialist
Dana Takahara-Dias

Title VII Specialist
Blue Kaanehe

Title VI Specialist
Anna Tsang

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Specialist
Alphonso Braggs

ADA/504 Specialist
Krysti Sukita


Complex Area Equity Specialist

Lindsay Kukona Pakele
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Marie Neilson
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Christina Simpson
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Michael Murakami
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Nara Sitachitta
Pearl City-Waipahu
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Shari Dela Cuadra
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Lance Larsen
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Complex Area Equity Specialist



Complex Area Equity Specialist

Dee Sugihara
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Moana Hokoana
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Glenn Gray
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Venus Lee
Complex Area Equity Specialist

Courtney Dennis
Complex Area Equity Specialist

David Dooley

Contact Information

Civil Rights Compliance Branch

Phone: 808-784-6325



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