Sunday, July 21, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, January 15, 2015
Pono Choices: Proposed Keiki Caucus Bills Would Undermine Parental Rights
By Rep Bob McDermott @ 10:22 PM :: 3221 Views :: Education K-12, Family

Proposed Keiki Caucus Bills Would Undermine Parental Rights

by Representative Bob McDermott, January 15, 2015

It was a giant step in the right direction when DOE revised Regulation #2210.1 in June.  Starting with the 2014-15 school year, parents must affirmatively sign an opt-in form to have their children to participate in sexual health education.  This was a positive change, given the public outcry after community members spoke out against the many troubling aspects of the human research project called “Pono Choices”.  Whereas the new policy recognizes and strengthens the role of parents in their children’s education, the old policy was just the opposite – students would be subjected to whatever sexual health education program was being taught in their classroom, unless parents took the time to write a letter notifying the school that they did not want their child to participate.  In other words, it was opt-out, not opt-in, which requires more thought and active participation from parents.  Even the DOE belatedly agreed stating in a September letter, “The DOE strengthened the role of parents in this decision by changing its policy from an opt-out to an opt-in.”

This new and better approach has hardly taken hold, but the State Legislature’s Keiki Caucus is already planning to attack it. Keiki Caucus bills are intended to advocate for children and youth, and have merit – but two bills proposed for 2015 are an affront to parental rights and require greater scrutiny.  The first bill would undo the DOE’s new “opt-in” requirement specifying that sexual health education must be provided in all public schools – even elementary schools – but forces parents to “opt-out” via written request if they do not want their child to participate.  This is a disappointing development, and disrespectful to parents.

The second bill would establish a “Safe Places for Youth Pilot Program”.  I voted against the bill in 2014 because of its potential for misuse and its clear threat to parental rights.  The bill would give “youth in crisis” ages 14-20 a network of “safe places” to receive counseling and social services.  But some provisions are deeply disturbing.  While well-intended, the simple fact is that the counseling and services (which address subjects like pregnancy prevention, suicide, and tobacco/alcohol abuse) might involve sensitive subjects that parents would rather address directly with their children, rather than rely on a complete stranger.

Also, the bill’s definition of “youth in crisis” is quite broad and includes minors having “problems at home” (read: any child mad at mom and dad because they must be home by 10:00 PM and can’t smoke pot).  And while minors under age 18 are usually considered too young to consent to services, a service provider participating in this program would be excused from obtaining consent from the minor’s parent or guardian. The provider could ignore the parent or guardian’s refusal to consent, if for example the minor simply alleges that he/she would feel “unsafe” if forced to return home immediately, and the provider believes the minor.  Parents everywhere should be concerned, especially since the program would require service providers to report suspected child abuse or neglect to authorities, and would house the minor elsewhere.  Make no mistake, this undermines, not strengthens parental rights.

Today, more than ever, young people need the stabilizing influence of their parents. As a father who has raised 8 children with my wife of nearly 30 years, I strongly urge parents and concerned community members to contact their legislators, understand the ramifications of these proposed bills, and prepare to testify at the Legislature if the bills move forward.  Anyone needing assistance tracking these bills may contact my office at repmcdermott@capitol.hawaii.gov.

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