Skip to main content

To: Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto, Superintendent of Education and Phyllis Unebasami, Deputy Superintendent

Restore original name of President William McKinley High School

Correct a wrong by restoring the original name of Mckinley High School, Honolulu High School.

Why is this important?

Residing along Pensacola Street in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, sits President William Mckinley High School, seemingly an apt name to honor the 25th president, William McKinley. But, to those of us who know the truth about what really happened with the overthrow of Hawaiian Monarchy and the prolonged illegal occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States, we do not celebrate William McKinley. I urge the Superintendent of Education, Kathryn S. Matayoshi, the Board of Education members listed above and whomever is concerned, to take action in correcting a wrong and rename McKinley High School back to one of its original names, Honolulu High School.

After two failed attempts by the United States of America to annex Hawaiʻi (June 16, 1897, September 7, 1897), House Joint Resolution 259, 55th Congress, 2nd Session, also known as the "Newlands Resolution," was proposed and passed by Congress, then signed into United States law by the imperialist, President William McKinley on July 7th, 1898.

According to legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, a joint resolution is “often used when Congress needs to pass legislation to solve a limited or temporary problem.” The United States’ “problem” was the Spanish-American war in 1898 and to “solve” their problem, they insisted the need for Hawaiʻi because of its strategic value to their military. The war was “temporary.” The occupation of Hawaiʻi, not so much.

This joint resolution was illegal because the only legal avenue to have acquired Hawaiʻi was through a treaty, a ratified agreement between the two countries, which the United States did not obtain. Hawaiʻi was indeed known as a country through securing recognition of Hawaiian independence by powerhouse countries, Great Britain (1843), France (1843) and its eventual occupier, the United States (1846). Equally as important, a joint resolution cannot have any force and effect beyond the borders of the U.S., which Hawaiʻi clearly was. As Keanu Sai says on Hawaiian Kingdom Blog, “United States could no more annex the Hawaiian Islands by passing a domestic law, than it could annex Canada today by passing a law.”

Ignoring what the people of Hawaiʻi wanted before the joint resolution was signed into law as evidenced by the 21,269 Kūʻe Petition signatures gathered by Hui Aloha ʻĀina and an official protest of treaty of annexation by Queen Liliuʻokalani submitted to and formally accepted by the U.S. Congress, McKinley had one goal in mind and that was to take power over Hawaiʻi at any cost—even if they could illegally slide by through a joint resolution.

According to the McKinley High School website, the school was established in 1865 as Fort Street English Day School and renamed in 1895 to Honolulu High School. In 1907 it was again renamed to President William McKinley High School because he “helped to bring about the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States.” Also, one of the school’s colors, gold, was “chosen for McKinley’s close association with Hawaiian royalty.” In front of the school, stands an eight-ton, bronze statue of President McKinley who holds a scroll in his right hand titled, "Treaty of Annexation." False advertisement much?

Although William McKinley is not the only person to blame for illegally occupying Hawaiʻi, he was, at the time, the head of the country that did. By having this school still named after him today, in the most populated city in Hawaiʻi, does the Department of Education (DOE) encourage and imply that what the United States did to the Hawaiian Kingdom and its people to be lawfully and ethically correct? I ask you to please sign this petition and let the proper authorities know that honoring William McKinley and perpetuating his name in Hawaiʻi is absolutely wrong. Mahalo nui.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • I believe decolonization is important. We need to normalize Native Indigenous human rights and allow us to write our own histories. We are worthy of respect and not to be treated as mascots and costumes.
  • "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." -Martin Luther King Jr. It’s never too late to reconcile and upright the past. Let’s make change today!
  • Do the right thing people. MCKINLEY broke international law as well as US law.

Updates

2020-06-26 17:39:48 -0400

Aloha nō! Mahalo nui for everyone who signed this petition in 2015 and revived it now in 2020! We are currently strategizing to push this movement to remove President William McKinley's name from the school AND his statue off of school grounds.

This is VERY important: if you are a McKinley student or graduate and want to help, please email aoloapatao@gmail.com. We need the McKinley student body to voice this movement.

Mahalo again and let's get this done!

MoveOn Civic Action does not necessarily endorse the contents of petitions posted on this site. MoveOn Petitions is an open tool that anyone can use to post a petition advocating any point of view, so long as the petition does not violate our terms of service.