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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 20, 2021 08:25 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Media Literacy Curriculum in Schools to discern Fake News
I believe that the future of our democracy is contingent upon all of us being critical consumers of information.  As online news and social media have proliferated over the last decade, a whole new category of information has entered the popular lexicon : fake news.

I plan to reintroduce legislation (HB 992 of last session), which would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to establish a media literacy curriculum for Pennsylvania's students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.  This legislation would prepare Pennsylvania's students with critical thinking skills and knowledge to evaluate the accuracy of news stories on social media and other sources for themselves.  The prominence of intentionally false stories made to appear as legitimate news reports has continued to increase and fake news continues to do a disservice to our public discourse.  Regardless of a person's political affiliation, opinions should not be presented as fact unless they are supported by facts.

The sophistication in how this false information is disguised and spread can make it very difficult for someone, particularly young people, to determine fact from fiction.

Accordingly, I believe the Department of Education should establish a media literacy curriculum and create a list of resources and materials on media literacy for school districts and ensure approved media literacy training opportunities are available for use in professional development programs for teachers.

I hope you join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.


Introduced as HB906