Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 03, 2014
HI lawmaker renews fight to end or revise controversial sex ed program
By Malia Zimmerman @ 7:16 PM :: 4048 Views :: Education K-12, Family, First Amendment, Health Care

HI lawmaker renews fight to end or revise controversial sex ed program

 INAPPROPRIATE? Bob McDermott doesn’t want his 11-year-old son exposed to Hawaii DOE’S sex education curriculum.

By Malia Zimmerman, Watchdog.org, February 3, 2014 

HONOLULU — State Rep. Bob McDermott, who enrolled his eight children in Hawaii’s public schools, doesn’t want his 11-year-old son exposed to a controversial taxpayer-funded sex education program.

That program is taught in 12 public schools across the state, and the Hawaii Department of Education is planning to expand the curriculum to others.

That’s spurred McDermott to renew his fight to get the program revised or pulled altogether. He’s releasing a 21-page report Monday entitled “The Pono Choices Curriculum: Sexualizing the Innocent” detailing his concerns. He also plans to make a plea to the Hawaii Board of Education at its Tuesday meeting, and hold a legislative briefing Wednesday evening for parents.

The 10-hour program, called Pono Choices (pono is a Hawaiian word that translates to “the right way”), is designed for youth aged 11 to 13. It has been taught to 1,700 Hawaii middle school children through an $800,000 pilot program.

McDermott said the program is “medically inaccurate” and not biology based, and that it teaches children about topics such as anal sex, sex with multiple partners and how to put on a condom — using a cucumber or wooden replica of a penis.

“The program normalizes a homosexual lifestyle and anal sex, while failing to warn students of the extreme dangers of anal sex; it references multiple sex partners, while failing to inform students about the health benefits of monogamy; it fails to warn students about the ineffectiveness of condoms against HPV, herpes, and anal sex; and fails to educate students on the stages of human reproduction,” McDermott said, providing Watchdog.org with an early copy of his report.

“Any talk of anal sex — which the curriculum does frequently — is instinctively repulsive for pre-pubescent children. Additionally, calling the anus a genital — as Pono Choices does — is just plain medically wrong,” McDermott said.

Among his other arguments: the curriculum’s definition of oral sex isn’t consistent with the definition commonly found in medical literature, data on condom use and effectiveness is inaccurate with regard to HPV, herpes, and HIV and the curriculum ignores the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s warning regarding the risks of condom use when engaging in anal sex.

 NOT THE THREE R’S: McDermott holds up a copy of notes from an 11-year-old student enrolled in the sex education classes in the state’s public schools.

The DOE maintains the program is medically accurate, and points out parents can opt their children out of the program.

Parents are invited to a Pono Choices Parent Night through a letter that’s sent home with their child informing them their child will study teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention as part of health education, the DOE in a statement in mid-December. They also learn how to use a condom as part of the program.

“For any curriculum or lesson that addresses reproductive health, parents have the option of requesting that their child not receive the instruction,” the DOE statement said.

However, McDermott said what parents are told — and students are taught — are very different.

“The parental opt-out forms are woefully inadequate. They lack clarity and transparency by concealing some controversial aspects of the material,” McDermott said.

In November, McDermott requested a copy of the curriculum, which was developed by the University of Hawaii. The DOE and university denied his request for several weeks.

McDermott said DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz told him in an email that the course material wouldn’t be made public, but offered to have the lead researcher “address any questions.”

That researcher, Kelly Robert, told McDermott in a follow-up email: “We are not releasing the curriculum or associated materials to anyone who has not gone through the Pono Choices training.”

 WHY ARE YOU SMILING? McDermott said happy faces are used to represent STIs partners can get from one another in the curriculum.

Once he obtained a copy and reviewed it with his staff attorney and others, McDermott felt the curriculum fails to inform children of the exponentially increased risks of male on male anal sex.

“Such omission renders the entire document questionable at best and agenda-driven social engineering at worst,” McDermott said.

The program is also contrary to state law and policies regarding abstinence-based sexual education, McDermott said.

“The curriculum treats sexual activity before the age of 14 as a viable choice, despite the state sexual assault law, which puts the age of consent at 16,” McDermott said.

The DOE maintained in a statement that abstinence is taught, but McDermott said “it is not the central message of the curriculum,” which he said gives a mixed message.

The DOE pulled the program in late November 2013 to review it after parents and some legislators complained, but reinstated the program after two weeks and announced its expansion to other schools.

 MONTES: It’s time for the community to fight back

Others share McDermott’s concerns.Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom, R-Hawaii Kai-Diamond Head, agrees that parts of the curriculum aren’t appropriate for middle school students.

Hawaii Republican Assembly, a local conservative organization, issued a statement Monday calling Pono Choices,“Porno Choices” and encouraged parents to attend both the BOE meeting  Tuesday and the legislative briefing Wednesday.

“It’s time to fight back,” said organization spokesman Tito Montes.

---30---

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

Affordable Hawaii Coalition

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT