Current Legislation

House Bill 4673 – Integration Of Critical Thinking And Media Literacy Skills In Public Schools

SC House Bill 4673
Sponsors: Rep. Seth Rose (D),  Rep. William Clyburn (D), Rep. Patricia Henegan [D], Rep. Beth Bernstein [D].

A bill to amend the code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 59-1-485 to provide for the integration of critical thinking and media literacy skills in public schools, to provide related requirements of the State Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and local school districts.

Your input to your State Legislators can help make a difference.  Don’t delay; give your input today!
  • Find your State Legislators’ contact info here.

    Search for your State Representative in the House of Representatives and your State Senator in the State Senate.

      • Write an Email

        To both your State Representative and your State Senator, or call them and ask them to support the bills that promote Media Literacy – be sure to use specific bill numbers as listed on our Current Legislation page.

        Include your name and address to identify that you are their constituent, and preferably your email and phone number.

        Use your own language, or see language we can suggest below:

        Dear _____: I believe that understanding media is a critical skill for students as the citizens of the future, as media is the predominant information provider of our times and young people need skills to navigate the world of media safely and responsibly.  I ask you to support bills that provide for Media Literacy education, including _______ (bill numbers).

        Sincerely,

        Your Name, Address
        (email and phone)

  • Let Us Know

    …about your outreach and THANK YOU – you are helping create a more media literate world!

    Contact your local MLN Chapter Leader:

    Frank Baker, South Carolina chapter leader
    Get in touch with him at fbaker1346@gmail.com

SC House Bill 4673

Nov 20, 2019 – House – Prefiled; Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.
Jan 14, 2020 – Introduced and read first time; Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

 

News

  • By Frank Baker, Media literacy consultant and South Carolina chapter leader My name is Frank Baker: I am a long time (more than 20 years) media educator.  Over the past two years, I’ve taken time to meet with several legislators to present them with copies of my book “Media Literacy in The K-12 Classroom” (ISTE) and to discuss my concern that we aren’t really teaching our students how to think critically about media messages. So when Media Literacy Now began its effort to get media literacy measures passed by the various state legislatures, I thought now would be a good time to try to do something here. One of my neighbors, Seth Rose, is a newly elected representative to the South Carolina House of Representatives. He graciously welcomed the opportunity for me to meet with him. I recall him asking me to define media literacy.  I knew Rep. Rose had young children and my passion for media literacy education showed when he said to me: “Frank, we have to do something.” A short time later, I presented him with MLN’s latest model media literacy bill. It was pre-filed with the legislature in mid November 2019.  Around the same time, I took the model bill to a meeting with representatives of the South Carolina State Department of Education. Some time later, they wrote an email to Rep. Rose in which they claimed the bill was not necessary because media literacy was already being taught ( a claim that I clearly dispute). Seth worked hard to get an initial hearing on the bill which was finally scheduled in early February 2020.  Going into this process I told myself that the odds of getting anything passed the first go ‘round were pretty slim.  And the reason why is because the legislature was to tackle a huge education reform measure. On February 5, the House Education Subcommittee held the hearing. I had gathered several personal friends and education colleagues I knew would be interested in the bill and its outcome.  I had the chance to testify. You can read my prepared remarks here. When it came time for a vote, a member of the committee from a rural district objected. He said he was worried about adding something more to teachers’ crowded instruction, but he said he would go back to his superintendent to inquire. Several weeks later, I learned by email, that the superintendent was supportive. But alas, as of this writing, the measure has not moved forward.  And with the current pandemic making meetings, like the General Assembly, problematic, we don’t know if the measure will go any further this year. I’m not discouraged by any means. Our measure attracted a great deal of media coverage. And we have certainly got the attention of the State Department of Education.  In the meantime, I am hoping to be invited to be part of the team that rewrites our state’s ELA (English Language Arts) standards – that’s one of the most appropriate places for media literacy instruction. Frank Baker was recently honored by UNESCO with a 2019 GAPMIL Global Media & Information Literacy Award for his lifelong work in media literacy. Frank’s book Close Reading The Media: Literacy Lessons and Activities for Every Month of the School Year (Routledge/MiddleWeb, 2018) has been recommended by the School Library Journal. See our review. (Use discount code MWEB1 at checkout on routledge.com for 20% off.)

  • We are starting the session off strong with two new states pre-filing legislation to ensure all students are getting an opportunity to learn the media literacy skills they will need in the 21st century. Legislators in Missouri and South Carolina recognize the urgent need for young people to discern credible information as well as to use media tools safely.  In Missouri Republican state Rep. Jim Murphy has sponsored our model bill, H.B. 1402. He told WDAF-TV, “We always hear the term ‘fake news’ thrown around, but oftentimes, the news isn’t fake, but rather half-news or incomplete. We can’t just jump to conclusions with the first bits of information; instead, we have to look at the facts with a discerning eye, and let the story develop before choosing sides and becoming divided on an issue.” MLN Missouri chapter leader Julie Nils Smith, an instructor at Webster University, said “Rep Murphy recognizes that media literacy skills encompass much more than recognizing so-called fake news … these skills are about analyzing all media from movies to television to the music industry to apps. With our kids consuming hours of media daily, it’s important they have the skills to process all of this.” “Not sure what the future holds for this bill, but it’s got people in Missouri talking about media literacy so that’s a good thing no matter what!” states Smith regarding the recent bill.    South Carolina Democratic state Representative Seth Rose pre-filed our model bill, H.B. 4673,  in November. “Children are facing unprecedented issues on social media and we need to just better teach and equip them,” he said.  MLN South Carolina chapter leader and media literacy consultant Frank Baker, who worked with Rep. Rose to introduce the bill, emphasized the need for expanded media literacy education on a greater social and political level. “I can think of no better time than now, to prod our education decision makers and lawmakers to take concrete action to insure that every teacher and student receives strong media literacy and critical thinking instruction. Our democracy depends on it.” Find more information here on the legislative work MLN is doing in Missouri and South Carolina. —— Find coverage of the Missouri media literacy bill here: WDAF-TV https://fox4kc.com/2019/12/02/missouri-legislator-files-bill-to-fight-so-called-fake-news-with-media-literacy-classes/   KBIA radio https://www.kbia.org/post/missouri-officials-fight-online-misinformation#stream/0 Find coverage of the South Carolina bill here: The Associated Press: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina/articles/2019-12-07/sc-lawmaker-wants-to-expand-media-literacy-teaching ABC News Columbia: https://www.abccolumbia.com/2019/12/16/s-c-lawmaker-proposes-bill-that-would-teach-students-about-spotting-fake-news/ WSPA 7 News https://www.wspa.com/news/top-stories/media-literacy-could-be-taught-in-sc-schools-if-this-proposal-becomes-law/ WPDE 15 News https://wpde.com/news/local/horry-county-students-who-have-always-had-the-internet-learn-how-to-spot-fake-news