Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 20, 2012
In Hawaii, it’s 1984 all over again
By Selected News Articles @ 3:39 AM :: 7340 Views :: Energy, Environment

by James Hochberg

The Hawaii Legislature is currently considering the “Hawaii Safe Schools Act,” which claims to target bullying and harassment at schools. In reality, it is a mechanism for imposing a pro-homosexual, state-mandated orthodoxy on students and teachers.

The Board of Education already has a much more balanced policy that would be uprooted by this legislation. BOE Policy 2210 requires that student discussion of issues which generate opposing points of view shall be considered a normal part of the learning process in every area of the school program. It also mandates that teachers refer students to resources reflecting all points of view, that discussions—including contributions made by the teacher or resource person—be maintained on an objective and factual basis, and that stress be placed on learning how to make judgments based on facts.

This balanced policy would be uprooted by the act. The problems start with its definition of bullying, which includes behavior that a student finds “intimidating” based on his or her “gender identity or expression [or] sexual orientation.” Even worse, “harassment” is defined simply as “annoying, or alarming…expression that causes another student…to feel uncomfortable.” Rather than focusing on the bullying activities (name-calling, physical aggression), the act focuses on how the victim feels.

This means that if two students were privately discussing, for example, biblical teachings on homosexual behavior, and another student overheard the conversation and claimed to feel “annoyed” or even moderately “uncomfortable,” then the two students could be punished for bullying. The act thus poses a real danger to the First Amendment protected rights of such students.

But the act’s drafters were not satisfied with merely censoring religious speech. Instead, they are bringing George Orwell’s 1984 to life.

Orwell’s book tells of an oppressive government that punishes unauthorized thoughts. Citizens having such thoughts are cured through “reintegration”—a process of gradually breaking down one’s will so that he embraces the government’s mandated orthodoxy. The act’s sponsors have adopted the book’s three stages to reintegration: “There is learning, there is understanding, and there is acceptance.”

Stage 1—Learning: The act requires that schools spend at least 45 minutes per week teaching sexuality. Kindergarteners would be forced to sit through lessons explaining why it is okay that Johnny likes boys instead of girls. If you are one of the unfortunate students found guilty of bullying, then you are subject to “education-focused consequences.” Thus, students who express, as part of a class assignment, the viewpoint that marriage should be between one man and one woman could be subjected to a “re-education” program where they are forcibly subjected to materials promoting homosexual behavior in an effort to persuade them to accept same-sex “marriage.”

Stage 2—Understanding: As part of the mandatory pro-homosexual education, students are expected to “develop empathy and self-awareness.” In other words, students must not simply believe that homosexual behavior is okay, they must share the feelings of those who engage in homosexual practices so that they can better understand them. Schools are also required to “reward positive behaviors that help counter bullying.” So a group of students who organize a Day of Silence to promote homosexual behavior would be rewarded by the school, perhaps with special privileges for participants. In contrast, a group of students organizing a Day of Dialogue, with a message affirming a biblical view of marriage and sexuality, could be punished.

Stage 3—Acceptance: Activists promoting homosexual behavior know that learning and understanding are powerful tools. It is why television shows for years have glorified portrayals of seemingly normal, humorous, relatable same-sex couples (e.g., Will & Grace, Modern Family). If we laugh with them and relate to them, then we eventually accept their sexual behavior, too. The activist found something America loves (humor) and wrapped their agenda in it. And many of us have accepted it.

Legislation like the Hawaii Safe Schools Act follows the same pattern. Activists found something America loves (bullying prevention) and wrapped their pro-homosexual agenda in it. And many of us are again accepting it because we don’t want to be perceived as soft on bullying.

No more. We should protect all children—not just a select few—from bullying and, just as importantly, protect them from a state-mandated orthodoxy that only supports homosexual behavior. As one federal court recently held, “tolerance is a two-way street.” Our education system must “tolerate” and respect student and faculty opinions that are based on different philosophies or religious tenets. Otherwise, it is no better than a schoolyard bully, intimidating students into submission.


James Hochberg is a Honolulu lawyer and an Alliance Defense Fund allied attorney. He previously served as one of seven commissioners on the Hawaii Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute


Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui


Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today


Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii



Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii


Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu


West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii