Pilot DOE program includes same-sex reference

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Nov 12 2013 11:36:33 AM HST

The pilot project is called Pono Choices, and it has been rolled out in some 30 schools across Hawaii.

A pilot program at Niu Valley Intermediate is embraced by some and rejected by others.

"Some of her friend's parents opted out," said parent Susan Wood.  "It's good to have the chance to opt out, but we felt it was good to give our daughter enough information as much as possible to make choices."

Click here to see Catherine Cruz's report.

Wood is talking about "Pono Choices" -- a pilot sex-ed project designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases.

But, language on the worksheets about two boys exchanging a kiss upset some parents who brought it to the attention of House lawmakers last week.

"It doesn't change our curriculum.  It doesn't change our standards," said Department of Education Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

The pilot program of "Pono Choices," which has been rolled out in some 30 schools across the state, has some parents concerned.  And they aren't the only ones that are asking questions.

"I am concerned at what age they are going to be taught some of these things and I think that is what the other parents share," said Sen. Donna Mercado Kim.  "At what age?  I am not sure what age that is."

Kim is one of four senators expected to vote no on the bill on Tuesday.  She believes the choice will boil down to very personal issues for each of her colleagues.K

Kim says her sister and sister-in-law have chosen the gay lifestyle, but that won't change her mind.

"I love them dearly, but I still believe marriage is between a man and a woman," said Kim.

The governor expected to sign the bill as early as Wednesday, if the Senate passes the bill on Tuesday.

"This is one of those decisions that will  define the careers of all the members in the Legislature," said Sen. Clayton Hee.  "I believe the vote will be 21-4, if all 25 are present."

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