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A Digital Citizenship Model Policy for All Kids

More than ever, America's kids need support and education to learn how to make sound judgments when navigating the digital world.

Topics: Learning

As we draw closer to a time of year when we reflect on what we're thankful for the most, my attention focuses on our efforts to pass substantive digital citizenship legislation.

Voices from parents, educators, administrators, researchers, and activists have joined a chorus calling on state policymakers to provide the resources needed to ensure that our students are being taught good digital citizenship and media-literacy skills needed to ensure that safe and ethical behavior is practiced online and offline.

In October, Common Sense Kids Action formed a broad coalition with like-minded organizations such as the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Media Literacy Now, and the Digital Citizenship Institute with the goal of helping legislators and policy staff develop real solutions that will create resources needed in the classroom.

Our legislation calls for the creation of a state-based advisory committee composed of educators, administrators, researchers, and parents who will work under the oversight of the state education agency. The advisory committee will develop best practices, resources, and models for instruction in digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy. The committee will also develop strategies that will support school districts in local implementation of the best practices and recommendations developed, including strategies for delivering professional development to educators and administrators. Our legislation also calls for the mandate that districts must annually review their policies and procedures on digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.

Common Sense has been a leading resource for school administrators, educators, and parents interested in learning additional ways to help kids thrive in a world driven by media and technology. We believe good online behavior mimics good offline behavior and that there is no differentiating between the two when it comes to safety, responsibility, and respect.

At Common Sense Kids Action, we're working every day to make the world a better place for kids.

We are thankful for those of you who have joined our efforts and who have called, written, and met with policymakers in your states. If you would like to join our efforts to make kids our nation's top priority, become a Kids Action Advocate today!

JR Starrett
JR oversees Let's Invest Large in Youth (LILY), a multi state program for Common Sense Kids Action. In this capacity JR works with a team of internal and external stakeholders to identify and introduce state based legislation that will positively impact kids. Prior to joining Common Sense, JR served as a seasoned political operative managing campaign efforts for some of the nation’s most competitive races. JR was recognized as a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2014. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife Morgan. JR is a frequent contributor to Campaigns and Elections Magazine, contributing to the Campaign Insider column.