Aka, with care, and hai, to speak. To be tender of heart; meek

Andrews, Hawaiian Dictionary, 1865


From the first day of school, John showed an unusual amount of aggression towards his classmates. While other kids climbed the jungle gym and played chase, he used his recess time grabbing classmates by the privates and trying to flip them over, WWF style. As a fairly new vice-principal my only corrective tools were to repeatedly suspend and chastise John. However, this had no effect as his hostility continued, seemingly without remorse. I grew increasingly frustrated and angry, especially after calling the parents of his victims. I felt as if he was doing this just to flout my authority.

Eventually, one of ours counselors was able to make headway. Mr. Nick possessed a gift for listening and helping students bring out the good within their hearts. During one of the counseling sessions, Mr. Nick heard from John that as far as he could remember, he was never embraced, never given physical affection. So Mr. Nick helped John understand the hurt he felt and in turn about the harm he caused. He helped him figure out how to fix things both within his heart and with others. And despite causing harm, he is still worthy of being listened to, being loved, and being shown compassion. Mr. Nick also worked with John’s mother to strengthen their relationship and show John know how much she loves him.

Six years later, I went back to my former school and saw John waiting patiently in a line to go to recess. He immediately recognized me, probably from the hours spent in my tiny VP office. He smiled and shook my hand, possessing a calmness and peace I had not previously seen. I asked him how he was doing and praised him for how much he grew. He made so much progress, the new administrators knew nothing of his past – only the positive attributes he now possessed. 

Research backs up my experience with John – that my efforts were ineffectual. Punitive measures such as suspension did not reduce his aggression nor did it make the school any safer. Listening with kindness or akahai, as implemented by Mr. Nick, coupled with counseling, however, changed the course of John’s life. It helped John eliminate his bullying behavior and instead become a model citizen. It brought out the aloha within.


Inspired by Gholdy Muhammad

Please watch this: Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Then with you child, answer the following:

  • IDENTITY: With a parent or kupuna, talk about the following: Have you ever regretted not showing kindness to someone before the chance was gone?
  • SKILLS: Bullying is defined as when someone is hurt by unwanted words or actions, repeatedly and has a hard time stopping what is happening to them because they feel less powerful.Do you think the kids were bullying Maya? Why or why not? Give specific details from the story that support your opinion.
  • INTELLECT: The narrator uses the word “tattered” to describe the doll that Maya brings to school. Based on how it’s used in the story, what do you think “tattered” means? How do the other students use that to judge Maya and call her Never New?
  • CRITICALITY: At the end of the story, what is the narrator thinking about as she watches the ripples across the pond? What lessons do you think the narrator has learned?
  • JOY: Like in the book, take turns with a friend, classmate, parent or kupuna, dropping a pebble into a big bowl of water and sharing a kind thing each of you have done.

Parents/Kupuna: Here’s a great follow-up read to this book about teaching your child to be kind.


October is National Bullying Prevention Month and in accordance, we have several initiatives planned. 

  • Thanks in part to our KES Wellness Committee, Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi provided an interactive training for our 5th and 6th graders on Becoming a Defender. Students learned about what is bullying, how to prevent it, and how to positively talk about dealing with difficult emotions. We will next schedule presentations for our 3rd and 4th graders.
  • Last Wednesday we participated in Unity Day, a call for inclusive, nurturing learning environment for all. To show our collective support; that we unite in speaking and acting with aloha – especially akahai, we gave all students orange, Unity Day bracelets. We continue to remind students they are making a promise to themselves and our community to be kinder, more respectful, more civil.
  • This week I continue in sharing a read alouds that has an anti-bullying message associated with the Aloha focus.

Please join us in promoting the National Bullying Prevention at home. Encourage your children to  be kinder, be more respectful, and act more civilly towards others.



See Uncle Pono Shim explain the Noʻahuna, the esoteric meaning, of Aloha as taught to him by Aunty Pilahi, the Keeper of Secrets.


Join us in letting “that light, that divine inspiration that Aunty Pilahi Paki says is given to you at your very beginning, come through and let your ALOHA join with the ALOHA of the collective to bring about healing.” 


At the Daily Piko, we share thoughts on the Aloha value for the week which helps us become centered and ready to learn. We begin at 8 AM everyday except Wednesdays.


Oct 23 – Nov 3, 2023Parent-Teacher Conferences
early release 12:45 PM daily
Oct 25, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Thur, Oct 26, 2023, 5 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 1, 2023Complex PC Day – No Students
Nov 6 – 9, 2023WASC Accreditation Full Visit
Wed, Nov 8, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Nov 29, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 13, 2023, 4:30 PMWellness Committee Meeting 
Join by Zoom
Wed, Dec 20, 2023Winter Classroom Paina
end school at 2:05 PM (switch with 12/21)
Thur, Dec 21, 2023Winter Songfest
end school at 1:15 PM (switch with 12/20)
End of Quarter 2
Dec 22, 2023 – Jan 5, 2024Winter Break Intersession – no school
Wed, Dec 27, 2023, 5 PMSchool Community Council Meeting
Join by Zoom
Mon, Jan 8, 2024Waiver Day #3 – No Students

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