Sexual Health Education

Instruction is based upon the foundation that abstention from sexual intercourse is the surest and most responsible way to prevent unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and consequent emotional distress.

Policy 103.5

Sexual Health Education Policy 103.5 was passed by the Board of Education on June 16, 2015, replacing Policy 2110 on abstinence-based education. The policy is:

  • consistent with state law (HRS 321-11.1);
  • requires that a description of the curriculum used by the school be made available to parents before instruction starts. It is recommended that schools post this information on their website, and to send a letter, convene a parents' night or use other means of communicating to parents to inform them prior to start of instruction.

Parents and legal guardians can opt-out of having their children participate in sexual health education.

​​​Sexual activity, pregnancy and STIs among Hawaii teens

Hawaii’s students are at risk of experiencing unintended pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. A significant percent of Hawaii’s students are sexually active. Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2015) show that statewide:

  • 22.3 percent of Hawaii’s high school students are currently sexually active (sex with at least one partner in the last three months). Among those, during their last intercourse:
    • 20 percent used drugs or alcohol beforehand,
    • 48 percent reported that they used a condom,
    • 27 percent used some method of birth control (pill, shot, patch or ring),
    • 13 percent reported they didn't use any method to prevent pregnancy.​

Hawaii’s sexual health education

There are several state laws and policies in place to help prevent teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections through a comprehensive, abstinence-based sexual health education.

  • In 1995, the Board of Education (Board) established Policy 2110 requiring the Hawaii State Department of Education (Department) to implement comprehensive sexual health education. (This was replaced on June 16, 2015 by Board Policy 103.5.)
  • State law (Hawaii Revised Statutes §321-11.1) establishes requirements for any state-funded sexuality health education programs.
  • Board Policy 2245, adopted in November 1994, clarifies the role of prophylactics in the public schools.

For more information about state laws and policies regarding sexual health education and academic standards, curriculum, instructional materials related to sexual health education, see Implementing Sexual Health Education: Background and Actions for Improvement.

Approved curriculum


​Press Release

In April 2014, the Department convened a diverse working group of education and health professionals, as well as community members of various backgrounds, to review​ the Pono Choices curriculum. Members were recruited to provide a balanced and broad set of perspectives: medical experts, prevention specialists, educators and parents.


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