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Did Your State Make the List with Digital Citizenship Legislation?

A parent-powered movement from Kids Action helps expand media literacy training in eight states and counting.

Kids and teens today are using the immense power of digital media to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways never before imagined. With this power, young people have extraordinary opportunities; yet they face potential pitfalls, too. Meanwhile, schools are dealing with the associated ramifications, such as cyberbullying, digital cheating, and safety and security concerns. These issues underscore the need for students to learn -- and for teachers to teach -- digital literacy and citizenship skills.

Policymakers around the country are now seeking legislative solutions. Common Sense Kids Action is leading a national coalition of like-minded organizations in an effort to pass modeled legislation that would expand school and district access to digital citizenship and media literacy resources. The legislation uses a state advisory committee that includes researchers, administrators, educators, and others to review digital citizenship and media literacy curricula and policy.

States are taking notice. Policymakers from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island have introduced legislation. The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) recently released a Legis Brief (Vol. 25, No. 07) discussing the legislative trend and successful strategies that have been identified within states across the country.

Common Sense Kids Action has been a leading resource for policymakers, 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.

Update, March 11, 2017: New Mexico's HM 49 was signed into law on March 11, 2017, legislation that expands Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Training in New Mexico.

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.