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Saturday, February 01, 2014
Feb 4-5: Pono Choices or Poor Choices?
By Hawaii Family Advocates @ 9:11 PM :: 5839 Views :: Education K-12, Family, First Amendment, Health Care


From Hawaii Family Advocates February 1, 2014

Many of you have been following the saga of Pono Choices, a sex education curriculum developed by the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies.  Statements from both UH and and DOE claim that the program is aligned with the DOE standards and policies.

We, however, STRONGLY DISAGREE that this program is medically accurate nor age appropriate.   Hawaii Family Advocates is concerned because according to a story provided by Hawaii News Now back in November, this "sex ed health course has been taught to more than 1,700 middle-schoolers in the DOE system" (see story here) and it is being currently being rolled out to more public schools.  (For a synopsis written by Rep. Bob McDermott, please see the attached file.)


According to a review and analysis by Rep. McDermott (attached), Pono Choices (click for the full curriculum as provided by Rep. McDermott):

  • Is a top-down, federally-dictated program and not an organic, community-developed curriculum-in spite of the name "Pono Choices".
  • Is medically inaccurate regarding basic human anatomy.
  • Normalizes anal sex, while failing to warn students of the extreme dangers of anal sex.
  • References multiple sex partners, while failing to inform students about the health benefits of monogamy.
  • Fails to warn students about the ineffectiveness of condoms against HPV, herpes, and anal sex.
  • Fails to educate students on the stages of human reproduction.
  • Fails to fully inform parents about the controversial aspects of the curriculum.
  • Is contrary to state law and policies regarding abstinence-based sexual education.
  • Is not age-appropriate for its intended students.
  • Treats sexual activity before the age of fourteen as a viable "choice", in spite of state sexual assault law.
  • The failures of the program stem largely from an ideological bias that naturally results from the involvement of the sources responsible for developing the program.

Over the course of the past few weeks, we have received many requests from parents in the community who want to stand up and take action to stop this poorly written curriculum from being taught.

Today we encourage you to TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW IN TWO WAYS!


  • Board of Education (BOE) Hearing Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2014, 1:30 PM
  • Queen Liliuokalani Building, 1390 Miller Street, Room 404
  • The Department of Education Building is located next to the State Capitol.

(Click here for the hearing notice)

Please read the attached file and email your testimony to:

We also strongly encourage you to show up at the hearing and testify in person.

Format of your testimony:

  • Testifiers name and title
  • The date of the meeting (2/4/14)
  • Agenda Item - - Student Health and Safety
  • Add your own comments and concerns.  Be brief and stick to the facts.


  • Who:         State Rep Bob McDermott, Special Guest Mr. Phil Lees
  • What:        Discussing PONO Choices
  • Where:      State Capitol Auditorium
  • When:       Feb. 5th, Wednesday, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

We shall provide a complete briefing and will be discussing the attached detailed report (17 pages) on the inaccuracies, misinformation, and willful omissions of Pono Choices.

Please help fill the auditorium with people from the community including, parents, teachers, legal and medical experts opposed to Pono Choices.  We stand with many parents in the community who want to get this outrageous program pulled from the school system and maintain their constitutional right to parent their children according to their own choices.

See you there.


PDF: Detailed Pono Choices Analysis


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