In my juvenile justice class, I stress to the students that juveniles are given second chances because society believe they are not capable of making sound decisions yet. Should this concept apply to adult as well?
HONOLULU -- A state judge Monday gave a high school athletic director, who pleaded guilty to marijuana charges, a second chance to go back to teaching.
Brad Kitsu talked about the pain the case has left him with.
"The shame and disappointment I've brought upon my parents, my family, my friends, me, students," he said in court.
Those people Kitsu talked about still supported him at a sentencing with much at stake.
Citing a prior misdemeanor assault case, the prosecutor asked for 60 days in prison and a felony conviction that could end Kitsu's career as teacher and athletic director of the Academy of the Pacific.
"He's already had a chance to keep his record clean. We oppose conditional discharge," Deputy Prosecutor Peter Marrack said.
"This has been the worst year of his life," defense attorney Todd Eddins said.
Kitsu pleaded guilty to possession of an ounce of marijuana and paraphernalia. His case got wide media attention because his friend, former University of Hawaii football player Wayne Morris Roe arranged the mailing of two pounds of marijuana to Kitsu's apartment.
Roe got probation. Kitsu asked the judge to keep the felony off his record to give him a chance to teach again.
"I've dedicated my life to a better community and being a positive influence on people's lives," Kitsu said.
The judge said he was particularly moved by letters from Kitsu's boss at Academy of the Pacific and friends and colleagues who talked about how much good he had done for students and the schools where he worked.
The judge said losing Kitsu as an educator would harm the community.
The president of Academy of the Pacific said she is pleased Kitsu will not have a criminal record. She would not say if she plans to hire him back.