Media literacy

Bill would provide media literacy training to MO / Public Information Service schools

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Missouri lawmaker has introduced a bill that would add media literacy training to the public school curriculum.

House Bill 74 would create a committee of lawmakers, educators, media experts and a child mental health expert to work with the Missouri Department of Education on the best ways to teach digital skills in the classrooms.

Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis, the sponsor of the bill, said it is essential for children to learn to verify information, both when consuming media and when producing it, and to understand how the media influences thoughts. , feelings and behavior.

“They received more information from more different sources than their parents received in their lifetime,” said Murphy. “You know, they get it on TV, they get it from cable news, they get it from social media, they get it from games, and it’s happening to them at breakneck speed.”

Murphy noted that whenever someone posts on social media, someone else is likely to believe what they are writing. He wants educators to help students better learn to use social media ethically and responsibly.

Combating cyberbullying is a component of media literacy.

More than one in four students have been cyberbullied in the past 10 years, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center, and pandemic surveys have shown that the number increases when children learn at home.

Murphy added that this is another reason he is suing the bill.

“Kids today are harassed more on social media than in the schoolyard,” said Murphy. “And, you know, it’s a mental health issue in our schools.”

If the bill passes, Missouri would follow in the footsteps of more than a dozen states, including Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and Washington, which have passed state laws bringing some form of media learning in schools.

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