Vital Signs: Hawaii educators hide ‘sensitive’ sex-ed curriculum from legislators
By COURTNEY CRANDELL
Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 03:10 p.m.
Too sensitive? Hawaii’s Department of Education (DOE) denied access to state legislators who wanted to view a controversial Planned Parenthood-supported sex ed curriculum currently taught in 12 middle schools in the state. The program could be expanded to 30 more schools.
Parents and teachers have complained about the curriculum to state Sen. Sam Slom and Rep. Bob McDermott, who both tried unsuccessfully to view copies of the curriculum. DOE spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said they refused the requests because “the curriculum is sensitive in nature and can be misinterpreted.”
The curriculum, which was developed by the University of Hawaii and Planned Parenthood using an $800,000 teen pregnancy prevention grant, teaches middle school students about same-sex relationships, oral and anal sex, and how to use a condom.
DOE halted the program for an investigation on Nov. 29, 2013. But in what Slom calls the “fastest ‘investigation’ in Hawaii history,” the DOE announced two weeks later it did not find anything contrary to the department’s standards, and allowed teachers to continue to use the curriculum.
“It is outrageous that a state legislator … as an elected official and a father of public school children, cannot get this information,” McDermott said at a press conference.