H.B. NO.














relating to health.





SECTION 1. The legislature finds that nearly eight hundred teenagers give birth in Hawaii each year and that Hawaii is ranked twenty-second in the nation for teenage births, at 20.6 births per one thousand girls who are fifteen to nineteen years of age.

Compared to non-teenage mothers, teenage mothers are nearly half as likely to graduate from high school. Forty per cent of teenage mothers reported living in poverty by age twenty-seven, and eighty per cent of teenage mothers reported receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits within ten years of giving birth.

Further, children of teenage mothers tend to score lower on standardized tests, are more likely to repeat a grade, and are less likely to graduate from high school. Children of teenage mothers also have a higher rate of emergency room visits, are more likely to have a chronic health condition, are more likely to be incarcerated in their teens or early twenties, and are more likely to give birth in their teens themselves.

The legislature also finds that teenage childbearing costs Hawaii taxpayers $32,000,000 per year, with seventy-one per cent of that amount covered by state and local funds and twenty-nine per cent covered by federal funds.

The legislature further finds that among Hawaii high school students, ten per cent reported that they had experienced physical dating violence, thirteen per cent reported that they had experienced sexual dating violence, and nine per cent reported that they had been physically forced to have sexual intercourse on at least one occasion.

The legislature believes that an effective way to combat teen pregnancy and sexual violence is through sexuality health education that promotes healthy attitudes toward adolescent growth and development, body image, gender and sexuality, dating, relationships, and family. Sexuality health education can also provide teens with the information, skills, and support needed to develop positive values, make healthy decisions, and respect the important role that sexuality plays throughout a person's life.

Over the past few years, several states, including Hawaii, have enacted laws that require school districts that teach sexuality health education to include age-appropriate and medically accurate health education. The legislature finds, however, that the effectiveness of sexuality health education in Hawaii's schools may be bolstered by providing clearer guidance on a comprehensive approach to sexuality health education, greater flexibility in the implementation of the curricula, and greater public access to the curricula.

The purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Add specific requirements to Hawaii's existing sexuality health education law;

(2) Require the board of education and department of education to collaborate to develop, maintain, and make available to the public a list of sexuality health education curricula; and

(3) Allow parents to request that their children not receive the sexuality health education provided pursuant to Hawaii's sexuality health education law.

SECTION 2. Section 321-11.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]321-11.1[]] Medically accurate sexuality health education. (a) Sexuality health education programs funded by the State shall provide medically accurate and factual information that [is]:

(1) Is age appropriate [and includes];

(2) Includes education on abstinence, contraception, and methods of disease prevention to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, including human immunodeficiency virus[.];

(3) Helps students develop relationships and communication skills to form healthy relationships that are based on mutual respect and affection and are free from violence, coercion, and intimidation;

(4) Helps students develop skills in critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and stress management to make healthy decisions about sexuality and relationships; and

(5) Encourages students to communicate with their parents, guardians, and other trusted adults about sexuality and intimate relations.

(b) At a teacher's discretion, the teacher may answer in good faith any question initiated by a student or students that is reasonably related to and consistent with the material of a course provided pursuant to subsection (a).

(c) The department of education may eliminate or modify components of instruction required under subsection (a)(2) in elementary school for reasons of age appropriateness.

(d) Sexuality health education provided pursuant to this section shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

(e) The board of education shall collaborate with the department of education to develop, maintain, and make available to the public a current list of sexuality health education curricula that are consistent with the requirements of this section.

(f) A student shall be excused from any part of the instruction provided pursuant to this section only upon the written request of the student's parent or legal guardian. A student shall not be subject to disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction if the student's parent or legal guardian requests that the student not receive the instruction provided under this section.

(g) The department of education shall establish minimum education and training qualifications for sexuality health education teachers.

[(b)] (h) For the purposes of this section:

"Age appropriate" means suitable to a particular age or age group based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for that age or age group.

"Factual information" means medical, psychiatric, psychological, empirical, or statistical information that is verified or supported by research conducted by recognized medical, psychiatric, psychological, and public health professionals or organizations.

"Medically accurate" means verified or supported by research conducted in compliance with accepted scientific methods and recognized as accurate and objective by professional organizations and agencies with expertise in the relevant field, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"Sexuality health education" means education in any medium regarding human development and sexuality, including education on pregnancy, family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Comprehensive Sexuality Health Education



Adds specific requirements to Hawaii's existing sexuality health education law. Requires the BOE and DOE to collaborate to provide curricula information to the public. Requires students to be excused from the provided instruction upon written request by a parent or guardian.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.