Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Media Literacy Now and Massachusetts Coordinator Tamara Sobel, the Massachusetts Healthy Youth bill (now S.2113) pertaining to comprehensive sex education was reported out of the Ways and Means Committee with a media literacy component: “Sexual health education may incorporate opportunities for students to analyze societal and media messages.” It is expected to go to the Senate floor on Thursday.
We expect an amendment will be proposed at that time to strengthen the language, making media literacy a required skill and opportunity for those students receiving sex education. Floor action will be broadcast here live.
This is groundbreaking territory, first because Massachusetts could be the first state in the country to refer to media literacy skills in sex education legislation. And it is also the first time in Massachusetts the full Senate will debate or vote on a bill that includes a media literacy component.
We will be watching closely!