KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) – A father of two has filed a lawsuit claiming East Hawaii public schools have failed to protect his kids from bullying because of their dad’s sexual orientation.

West Hawaii Today reports that openly gay Joshua Alameda Franklin filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 naming the Department of Education, state schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, Deputy Superintendent Stephen Schatz and others as defendants.

Franklin says his 9 and 10-year-old sons have been bullied for years because their father is gay. He says he has repeatedly asked school administrators to intervene with no success.

DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said Aug. 12 that the department is committed to creating a safe atmosphere for students and families and that there is a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior.