HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.R. NO.

138

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the department of education to create a student-led working group to address the need for active inclusion of diverse identities within and beyond sexual health education, to teach culturally responsive ideas around mutual respect in relationships, and to find sites of potential active inclusion of these identities in sexual health curricula, all within the framing principles of aloha kekahi i kekahi.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, an important tenant of Hawaiian thought is "aloha kekahi i kekahi", meaning to love, honor, and respect each other; to treat each other with mutual dignity and cordiality; and to engage with one another on the basis of mutual kindness, caring, and love; and

 

WHEREAS, because of the State's limited size and resources, it is vital to respect and celebrate the diverse racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, disability, and other identities that exist in the State; and

 

WHEREAS, students at the 2021 Hawaii Youth Summit specifically requested action to ensure that sexual health education curriculum includes accurate and affirmative representations of diverse gender and other identities; and

 

WHEREAS, general notions of inclusivity have not succeeded at creating active inclusivity that fosters space for all students to feel seen and represented in school and in personal relationships; and

 

WHEREAS, current educational materials and practices do not reflect the range of gender expressions and sexual identities that exist, which can lead to mental health issues, bullying, and discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students; and

 

WHEREAS, teachers who do not understand diverse gender and sexual orientations can have lasting negative impacts on individual children's mental health as well as contribute to an overall culture in schools that is hostile to students who may not fit within a cis-hetero conception of personal identity and affections; and

 

WHEREAS, talking about gender and sexuality in a medically accurate, open, and age appropriate way promotes greater health and safety; and

 

WHEREAS, educating young people about consent is an extremely important component of protecting them from danger and empowering them to make healthy decisions; and

 

WHEREAS, LGBTQ+ Native Hawaiian youth experience compound marginalization of their sexual identity, gender expression, and cultural identity as a result of ongoing histories of colonization and cultural repression; and

 

WHEREAS, Native Hawaiian cultural practice exceeds the heteronormative gender binary and provides us with pathways to decolonizing relationships and building mutual respect and aloha kekahi i kekahi; and

 

WHEREAS, children and their families deserve an inviting and comprehensive approach to sexual health education that centers the development of respectful and kind relationships; and

 

WHEREAS, students have a clear understanding of the issues and problems in their schooling and deserve to have a voice in crafting their own futures and those of generations to come; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2022, that the Department of Education is requested to form a student-led working group to address the need for active inclusion of diverse identities within and beyond sexual health education, to teach culturally responsive ideas around mutual respect in relationships, and to find sites of potential active inclusion of these identities in sexual health curricula, all within the framing principles of aloha kekahi i kekahi; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group consist of:

 

(1) Student advocates from across the islands, including representatives from:

 

(A) Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs;

 

(B) The Oahu Teen Council;

 

(C) TeenLink Hawaii; and

 

(D) Other student organizations doing work on peer-to-peer sexual health and relationship education;

 

(2) Cultural experts, including but not limited to those working with the Office of Hawaiian Education;

 

(3) Experts in sexual health education; and

 

(4) Teachers who are invested in the development of comprehensive curriculum and programs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to submit recommendations to the Department of Education for teacher training, student curriculum, and any other materials or programs the working group deems necessary to fulfill its goal; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that working group members and the Department of Education are urged to ensure that the concept of aloha kekahi i kekahi, particularly as it pertains to diverse sexual identities and gender expressions, is fully realized and responsibly shared with the State's keiki; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Governor, Chairperson of the Board of Education, and Interim Superintendent of Education.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

DOE; Sexual Health Education; Working Group; Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi