The photo above is not related to this bill exactly. It is from last week when our two excellent Senators pictured above were forced to listen to Republican obstruction. I imagine they had the same reaction listening to Republican objection to Senate Bill 195, which will seek to fight disinformation in our society by giving our school students the media literacy skills they need to discern what is bullshit and what is real. You see, Republicans want the next generation to be as guillible and naive when it comes to gaslighting and fake news as they have been. If you are skeptical of sources and think for yourself, Fox News has less impact.
I say we need to expand this bill so that it also provides tools to educate the Boomer Generation so that they can tell which Facebook post is disinformation and which is real, before they share it. But I digress.
What this bill would do is require the Department of Education to develop and maintain evidence-based media literacy standards for use by school districts and charter schools serving students in grades kindergarten through 12. The standards and materials must be age-appropriate and must address appropriate, responsible, and healthy online behavior.
The vote in the House was 30-11 and the vote in the Senate was 14-7. The bill did get some Republican support in the House.
|Senate Bill 195 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|S.McBride, Sturgeon, Lockman, Hansen, Townsend, Walsh||Senate Passes 14-7. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh||Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson|
|Heffernan, K.Williams, Dorsey Walker, Baumbach, Wilson-Anton||House Passed 30-11. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Freel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton Gray Hensley Shupe Spiegelman||Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Smyk Vanderwende Yearick|
|Current Status —||Sent to Governor|
Senator Sarah McBride: “My statewide media literacy education standards bill has passed the House and now heads to Governor Carney for his signature! It’s clear that we must do all we can to better prepare the rising generation of citizens and neighbors to be discerning consumers of news and information online.”
“Now more than ever, we need to combat online misinformation, disinformation, and bullying. That’s why I’m so thrilled that today the House passed my bill establishing statewide media literacy and healthy online behavior education standards for our K-12 public and charter schools. The Digital Citizenship Education Act will ensure Delaware has among the most robust standards in the nation on this topic, helping to protect our students’ mental health and the health of our democracy.
I’m so grateful to my partners on this legislation, Rep. Debra Heffernan in the House and Sen. Laura Sturgeon in the Senate, for their leadership on this exciting and necessary legislation.”