John Sullivan, a teacher at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, told a group of parents via email that he was refusing to teach illegal alien students at the school. Sullivan had received emails from parents who were keeping their children at home due to concerns of being deported. Ewa Beach is a suburb of Honolulu.
Using his email account at work, Sullivan wrote on March 8, "This is another attack on the President over deportation," and added, "Their parents need to apply for immigration like everyone else. If they are here in the U.S. illegally, I won't teach them." Later, he told KHON-TV news that his message was worded poorly and that he meant to say that he is unable to teach students who are frequently absent.
A spokesperson for Hawaii’s Department of Education, Donalyn Dela Cruz, said that Sullivan's message was "disheartening and concerning."
"We want to reiterate that the public school system, we service all students," she said. "In this case, hopefully lessons have been learned."
Later, Principal Jon Henry Lee of Campbell High School sent an email to school personnel asking them to refrain from expressing political speech on the school's email system. He also reminded teachers that they are prohibited from discriminating against students because of national origin.