Nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a method of student group free speech and a broader interpretation of the First Amendment in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District , California lawmakers have agreed to implement media literacy to support students. ‘ freedom of expression against the growing threats of misinformation and ‘fake news’.
The law, which former Governor Jerry Brown signed in September and took effect Jan. 1, will require the California Department of Education to compile media literacy resources, educational materials, and professional development programs to help teachers equip their students with the necessary tools. necessary to assess the false and misleading news they see in the media.
Mary Beth Tinker, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case who was suspended from school for wearing an armband to protest the Vietnam War, said she supports California’s decision to implement a media education program in schools.
“In a democracy, we all need to be involved in the decisions that are made, and young people have every right to be involved as well and should be involved,” Tinker said. “When they are not involved, it hurts everyone. [Students] having good ideas, creativity, a sense of fairness [and] energy, so it is very important that young people get involved in the current issues that are unfolding. So, with regard to information and media literacy [policies]we must have the truth on which to base our strategies, base our planning for the future, base our beliefs on what we think is important.
California State Senator Bill Dodd, a Democrat representing Napa Valley, originally drafted the proposal to implement a media literacy program in classrooms after reading a University study. from Stanford in 2016. The study indicated that 80% of college students did not recognize an advertisement. which was posing as a news report, according to Voice of America. The study also found that high school students struggled to tell the difference between Fox News’ Facebook site and a fake account impersonating the conservative outlet.
Mike Hiestand, senior legal counsel at the Student Press Law Center, said fighting the spread of false information is an integral part of supporting free speech.
“A big part of a student journalist’s job is to present accurate information to their readers, and if you don’t have the tools that allow you to assess the credibility of a particular source before passing it on, then you’re kind of part of the problem,” Hiestand said.
After broader measures related to media literacy failed, the bipartisan sponsors of Senate Bill 830 had to drop language about developing a model curriculum, according to the Lompoc Record, a source. California local information. The bill says the state Department of Education website must list educational materials and resources on media analysis and evaluation, including professional development programs for teachers, d here on July 1st.
The students said they support the state’s decision based on their own experiences.
“There’s been a lot of mainstream media delegitimization,” Angela Tan ’19 said. “And many people now get their information from social media and smaller sources that are harder to hold accountable for spreading false information. Now, it is especially important that the reader be better able to determine what to believe.