Hawaii to require all public schools to include sex-ed curriculumPosted: June 22, 2015
This past Tuesday Hawaii Board of Education voted 5-1 in favor of requiring sex education to be included in all public school curriculum. Previously, Hawaii public schools that offered sex-ed classes were optional and parents had to actively sign their children up. However with the new policy, sex-ed classes will be provided but parents have the option to not have their children participate.
The reasons behind the implementation of this policy has come from pressure from parents, community members, and activists, as well as startling statistics that reveal Hawaii’s need for increased sex education. Hawaii has the 10th highest teen pregnancy rating in the country and the 12th highest chlamydia infections rate. In addition to that, of all the states, Hawaii has the lowest reported condom use amongst sexually active teens.
The focus of these classes is to ensure that teens who choose to be sexually active are safe about their actions. Although some worry that the sex-ed curriculum will encourage students to be sexually active, there is vast evidence that shows increased access to preventive health care does NOT lead to a rise in promiscuity. (You can read more about this ‘promiscuity myth’ here.) The curriculum will emphasize the importance of abstinence in order to avoid unintended pregnancy and STD’s while also educating students on contraception in an age-appropriate and medically accurate manner. Additionally, the curriculum established by the Board of Education must be available for parents to view on their school’s website to ensure they are fully aware what their children are being taught. The Hawaii Board of Education has not chosen a plan or carved out any logistics just yet but, Department of Education spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said, “We don’t know the implications at this point, but we will before the next school year.”