Danny Burgess is resubmitting his bill to require public school social media training

Danny Burgess is resubmitting his bill to require public school social media training

Zephyrhill’s Republican Senator. Danny Burgess has again submitted legislation to protect children from the dangers of social media.

On Thursday, Burgess reported Senate Bill 52, which would require public schools to provide instruction on social media safety in existing courses. It would also define social media in state law for the first time.

SB 52 is the first measure Burgess filed for the 2023 legislative session.

“We’ve learned that social media affects users’ social, emotional and physical health, and our children are among the most vulnerable,” Burgess said in a statement.

“For better or worse, social media has become part of our society. There is no going back, only forward as the digital landscape evolves. Knowledge is power, but with the rapidly changing nature of social media and the continuous development of new apps aimed at kids, it’s hard for parents to feel confident that they can just keep their kids safe.

“Our children need us. I filed SB 52 to protect our children and empower parents. Being a parent today requires constant vigilance and education, but parents don’t have to do this alone.”

If passed, the bill would require the Department of Education to make its social media safety instructional materials available online and force school districts to notify parents of their online availability.

The bill contains no details about potential teaching plans. It defines social media as “a form of interactive electronic communication through an Internet site or application in which a user creates a service-specific identifying user profile to connect with other users … for the purpose of communicating and sharing information, ideas, news, stories , opinions, photos, videos and other content.”

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SB 52 is almost identical to a bill (SB 480) Burgess last year reported co-sponsorship from the Senate Democratic leader Lauren book and the Republican senator. Ray Rodriguez. The only difference is that the previous bill referred to the instruction as “social media literacy”, while the new one calls it “social media safety”.

SB 480 received bipartisan support after Burgess introduced it on October 13, 2021, but it stalled after clearing only one of three committees by unanimous vote.

Democratic Sen. Shevrin Jones was among the proposers of the bill, and remarked in Senate Education Committee Hearing November 30, 2021 that “social media is changing, and some of the stuff and content that’s coming across it is dangerous.”

Republican Sen. Jennifer Bradley praised the bill and recommended expanding the language to include other online activity.

“I almost think the bill might even be a little bit broader,” she said. “It’s certainly your social media platforms, but there’s a lot going on online with websites.”

A twin target (HB 361) House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell and the Republican Rep. Clay Yarborough carried with co-sponsorship from Christopher Benjamin, Dottie Joseph and Emily Slosberg-King died without a hearing.

In her analysis of SB 480, Senate Chief Legislative Analyst Kendra Jahnke noted students are not currently required to receive social media instruction, but there is an instructional model for a social media course available in CPALMSThe Ministry of Education’s official source for education standards.

Jahnke wrote that surveys have shown that 90% of teenagers between 13 and 17 have used social media, 75% reported having at least one active social media profile by 17 and more than 66% have their own mobile devices with internet capabilities.

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Potential benefits of social media, she wrote, include staying in touch with friends, meeting new friends with common interests, finding community and support for specific activities, sharing artwork or music, exploration and self-expression.

Risks include cyberbullying, over-sharing of personal information, privacy concerns including collecting data on teenage users, identity theft, being hacked, disruption of sleep, exercise, homework or family activities and exposure to harmful or inappropriate content, dangerous people and excessive advertising.

Jahnke wrote that an appropriate social media course should include, but not be limited to:

— Demonstrate entry-level skills in digital communication and package them across the platforms/media such as print, multimedia, online and broadcast.

— Demonstrate basic skills in social media platforms and their use; express social connections with maturity and complexity appropriate to author, audience, purpose and context.

— Use basic research skills and network formats

– Collaboration between peers.

— Use effective listening, speaking and viewing strategies with an emphasis on using evidence to support or refute a claim in multimedia presentations, class discussions and extended text discussions.

“Requiring social media literacy training can provide students with a better understanding of the benefits and risks of communicating and sharing information on social media platforms,” ​​she wrote, adding that passing the measure would have “no impact on state revenues or expenditures,” but ” May have a fiscal impact on school districts.”

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