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Finally, media literacy training may be required for Texas high school students


KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) – As students continue to study from home and spend more time in front of their computers and phones amid the pandemic, a state legislature fears misinformation will spread.

State Representative Mary González, D-Clint, filed House Bill 129, which requires Texas high school students to obtain digital citizenship loans before they can graduate.

The bill includes prevention and response to cyberbullying; digital ethics, etiquette, security and protection; and media literacy in its definition of digital citizenship.

“With the pandemic came a lot of conspiracy theories and misinformation and disinformation,” said Ebonee Rice, vice president of the Educator Network at the News Literacy Project.

Rice said the students bore the brunt of this misinformation because they spend more time online.

She said laws like HB 129 were needed to help students become responsible news consumers.

Rebecca Fay, a librarian at Liberty Hill Middle School in Killeen, said she had been teaching digital literacy to her students for the past several years.

“I’m teaching them to just say something as simple as that, let’s look it up, you know that before you share this meme or news article,” Fay said.

Killeen ISD schools follow a digital literacy curriculum through the nonprofit Common Sense Media.

Fay said she thinks it is important that the state continue media literacy and digital citizenship training through high school.

Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.


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