State Sex Education Policies and Requirements at a Glance
Sex education is required due to mandated state education standards in Hawaii. Although instruction must be medically accurate and age appropriate, it is not required to be in alignment with the National Sex Education Standards.
- Hawaii schools are required by proxy to teach sex education because of mandated state learning standards.
- Curriculum must include instruction on abstinence.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Curriculum is not required to include instruction on consent. However, instruction must help students develop relationships and communication skills to form healthy relationships that are based on mutual respect and affection and are free from violence, coercion and intimidation.
- Parents and guardians can remove their children from sex education. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
- Curriculum must be medically accurate and age appropriate.
Sexual health education is mandated in Hawaii as of 2015. The Hawaii State Board of Education was established by the Hawaii State Constitution, which grants the board power to formulate and establish statewide educational policy. On June 16, 2015, Hawaii’s Board of Education policy was updated to read, “the Department of Education shall provide sexual health education to include age appropriate, medically accurate health education that includes education on abstinence, contraception, and methods of infection prevention to prevent unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).” It further encourages students to communicate with their parents and/or guardians about sexuality and stresses that abstinence “from sexual intercourse is the surest way to prevent unintended pregnancies, [STIs] such as HIV/[acquired immunodeficiency syndrome] (AIDS), and consequent emotional distress.” Hawaii’s education policy 103-8 further states that birth control devices may be discussed during human reproduction studies. However, “the distribution of condoms and other prophylactic devices to students shall be prohibited in the classroom, on the school campus, or at any school-related activities.”
Hawaii does not require parental permission for students to participate in sexuality or HIV/AIDS education, but they may remove their children from the course. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
State Profiles provided by SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. For more information regarding your state’s sex ed policy, visit https://siecus.org/state_profile/hawaii-state-profile-23/