STAND. COM. REP. NO. 31
RE: S.B. No. 518
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Education, to which was referred S.B. No. 518 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EDUCATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require the Department of Education to establish and implement a sexual abuse prevention education program to educate public school students on sexual abuse prevention, provide relevant training to teachers and staff, and inform parents and guardians about important child sexual abuse topics;
(2) Require the Board of Education to adopt policies to effectuate the program;
(3) Require reports to the Legislature; and
(4) Appropriate funds.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Youth Services Network, Parents and Children Together, The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Democratic Part of Hawai‘i Education Caucus, Imua Alliance, and three individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education and Hawaii State Public Charter School.
Your Committee finds that sexual abuse remains a serious and ongoing threat to the safety, health, and well-being of children in the State of Hawaii. Your Committee further finds that although there are programs and Department of Education-approved curricula that provide both training to Department of Education teachers and staff and sexual abuse prevention education to students, implementation of these programs is not consistent across the Department of Education and resources to provide this training and education are limited. Consequently, students may not receive regular, consistent child abuse prevention education, nor are parents informed about child sexual abuse topics. In addition, many teachers and staff do not receive proper training on how to talk to children about child sexual abuse prevention, the effects of this abuse on children, how to handle sexual abuse disclosures, and mandatory reporting. This measure will establish a sexual abuse prevention education program in schools, which will equip students, school personnel, and parents with the skills they need to keep children safe from sexual abuse.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Specifying that charter schools are included in the sexual abuse prevention education program;
(2) Specifying that the Board of Education must adopt policies to effectuate the sexual abuse prevention education program for public and charter schools;
(3) Specifying that charter schools are allowed to participate and collaborate with the Department of Education in the development of the sexual abuse prevention education program;
(4) Inserting a blank appropriation amount for the State Public Charter School Commission to implement the sexual abuse prevention education program; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Education that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 518, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 518, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Education,
MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair