HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

509

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to parental rights in education.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be properly designated and to read as follows:

"302A-  Student welfare. (a) The board must adopt procedures for notifying a student's parent if there is a change in the student's services or monitoring related to the student's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school's ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for the student. The procedures must reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children by requiring school personnel to encourage a student to discuss issues relating to his or her well-being with his or her parent or to facilitate discussion of the issue with the parent. The procedures may not prohibit parents from accessing any of their student's education and health records created, maintained, or used by the department.

(b) The board may not adopt procedures or student support forms that prohibit school personnel from notifying a parent about his or her student's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being, or a change in related services or monitoring, or that encourage or have the effect of encouraging a student to withhold from a parent such information. School personnel may not discourage or prohibit parental notification of and involvement in critical decisions affecting a student's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. This subparagraph does not prohibit the department  from adopting procedures that permit school personnel to withhold such information from a parent if a reasonably prudent person would believe that disclosure would result in abuse, abandonment, or neglect.

(c) Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

(d) Student support services training developed or provided by the department to school personnel must adhere to student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the department.

(e) At the beginning of the school year, the department shall notify parents of each healthcare service offered at their student's school and the option to withhold consent or decline any specific service. Parental consent to a health care service does not waive the parent's right to access his or her student's educational or health records or to be notified about a change in his or her student's services or monitoring as provided by this subsection.

(f) Before administering a student well-being questionnaire or health screening form to a student in kindergarten through grade three, the department must provide the questionnaire or health screening form to the parent and obtain the permission of the parent.

(g) The board shall adopt procedures for a parent to notify the principal, or his or her designee, regarding concerns under this subsection at his or her student's school and the process for resolving those concerns within seven calendar days after notification by the parent. The procedures must require that within thirty days after notification by the parent that the concern remains unresolved, the department must either resolve the concern or provide a statement of the reasons for not resolving the concern.

(1) If a concern is not resolved by the department, a parent may:

(A) Request the superintendent to appoint a special magistrate who is a member of the Hawaii bar (?)  in good standing and who has at least five years' experience in administrative law. The special magistrate shall determine facts relating to the dispute over the department procedure or practice, consider information provided by the department, and render a recommended decision for resolution to the board within thirty days after receipt of the request by the parent. The board must approve or reject the recommended decision at its next regularly scheduled meeting that is more than seven calendar days and no more than thirty days after the date the recommended decision is transmitted. The costs of the special magistrate shall be borne by the department. The board shall adopt rules, including forms, necessary to implement this subparagraph.

(B) Bring an action against the department to obtain a declaratory judgment that the department procedure or practice violates this subsection and seek injunctive relief. A court may award damages and shall award reasonable attorney fees and court costs to a parent who receives declaratory or injunctive relief.

(2) The board shall adopt policies to notify parents of the procedures required under this subsection.

(3) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to abridge or alter rights of action or remedies in equity already existing under the common law or general law.

SECTION 2. By June 30, 2024, the department shall review and update, as necessary, school counseling frameworks and standards; educator practices and professional conduct principles; and any other student services personnel guidelines, standards, or frameworks in accordance with the requirements of this Act.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect July 1, 2023.

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Parental rights in education

 

Description:

Bans instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. Establishes new parental rights regarding health services and records. Establishes the parental right to sue and receive damages if schools fail to adhere to new provisions.

 

 

 

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