Washington state takes up media literacy, digital citizenship bill

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.

Claire Beach and her team from Action for Media Education in Seattle are thrilled to announce introduction of legislation to raise media literacy as a priority in the state’s public schools.

The team worked with state Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood), state Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-Mukilteo), and state Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) to craft a bill that has strong support from leadership. The process involved many long hours of work and months of planning among the advocates, legislators and staff. The sponsors told Ms. Beach they are very excited to bring this important policy to the legislature, and worked diligently to bring on 15 co-sponsors, including House and Senate leaders.

The bill would require each school district to provide education that includes digital and media literacy, awareness of safe technology use, and digital citizenship.

From the bill:
The legislature recognizes that as technology becomes more prevalent, students must learn how to thoughtfully, ethically, and responsibly use technology. The legislature intends to provide a process in which students, parents or guardians, teachers and other school employees, administrators, volunteers, and community representatives will engage in an ongoing discussion on safe technology use and digital citizenship.

Senate bill 6273 was introduced Jan. 13 along with 8 co-sponsors and the companion House Bill 2595 was introduced the next day with 7 co-sponsors. The Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education will hold a hearing Monday. We expect to hear more soon, as the Washington legislative session ends in March.

Go here to learn more and take action now.

State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) spoke to his colleagues about media literacy and digital citizenship on the floor of the state senate.

State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) spoke to his colleagues about media literacy and digital citizenship on the floor of the state senate.