Bill Update, News

Washington State Senate approves media literacy bill

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.

We launched Media Literacy Now to put media literacy on the public policy agenda. Today, we reached a major milestone in Washington State when state Sen. Marko Liias (D-Lynnwood) spoke to his colleagues about media literacy and digital citizenship on the floor of the state senate.

“The pace of information, the pace of data, the pace of what our students are being exposed to is rising exponentially…Our students need help navigating this digital landscape,” Liias said. “This bill (S 6273) will start the process of better embedding digital citizenship and media literacy into our state schools.”

He was joined by Sen. Steve Litzow, (R-Bellevue), the chair of the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, in calling for the senators’ support.

The bill passed, 48-0.

Clare Beach, president of Action for Media Education, our partners in Washington, said the group is thrilled to be celebrating their 25th anniversary year with this legislative success. “The prospect of the next generation of children having these conversations, from kindergarten, about mass media messages that tell them who they are and how they should be – it just makes me very happy.”

The bill now moves to the Washington state House of Representatives for consideration.

Watch the floor debate here . (Video will start at 46:30)

Members of Washington House Education Committee listen raptly to testimony from Action for Media Education members in February.
Members of Washington House Education Committee listen raptly to testimony from Action for Media Education members in February.
Bill Update, News

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.
Bill Update, News, Take Action

Washington State to introduce media literacy: Take action now

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.

Thanks to the work of Claire Beach and her team at Action 4 Media Education in Seattle, Washington, lawmakers there are preparing to offer legislation to help schools teach safe technology use and digital citizenship, a critical, urgently needed subset of media literacy education. Currently the team is seeking help to gather cosponsors before the bill is introduced in January.

“Senator Marko Illias and Representative Lillian Ortiz-Self and Representative Strom Peterson have been very helpful and so enthusiastic about our media literacy initiative,” Claire said. “They were pleased that we were able to offer so much expertise on the subject. All three of them are very excited to introduce this bill. They told us they welcome constituents to bring them good policy ideas, but it’s rare.”

If you live in Washington, please go to the web page to find out how you can take action. Or forward this notice to your acquaintances in that Northwest state.

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