New York and California Deploy ‘Media Literacy’ Programs for Schools

new york media literacy
NY MTA via Wikimedia Commons

The uptick in anti-Israel protests and online rhetoric has the United States on edge as the intelligence community warns of possible terrorist attacks in response to America’s support of Israel’s war on Hamas. Just this weekend, a fatal car crash on the eve of Thanksgiving at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between Canada and New York had mainstream media and the federal government assuming and bracing for what was believed to be more terrorist attacks.

It turned out the car crash was just that, a sad car crash that had nothing to do with terrorism. Discerning fact from fiction is difficult for everyone these days.

However, some states believe they have an answer to this problem. Both New York and California have recently announced the implementation of “media literacy” in K-12 schools and college campuses.

Sold as a way to help America’s youth decipher truth from lies, these programs reek of something far more sinister.

Threat Assessment Teams

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $3 million plan to try to keep online hate speech from turning into real-life hate crimes. The plan includes implementing threat assessment and management teams on every college campus to identify potential threats.

Governor Hochul promises these threat assessment teams won’t be up to any personal online spying. They’re merely to protect the population from hate speech:

“They’re not looking at your Instagram sunset posts or your tweets about your favorite football team, and they’re not here to penalize anyone for their political views. They have a simple goal: to find out what’s driving hateful behavior and intervene early before harm is done.”

What qualifies hateful behavior and what defines intervention is unclear. The $3 million will also be used to help create targeted advertisements to help parents identify if their kid is involved in hate speech online. 

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For the K-12 schools, “media literacy tools” will be deployed for every public school student. The Governor said that the media tools will help students:

“…spot conspiracy theories and misinformation, disinformation and online hate.”

What qualifies as a conspiracy theory? Let’s look to California to find out.

It’s a conspiracy because it’s true

California requires media literacy throughout every grade level, with lessons interwoven in English, science, math, and history classes. This requirement came from California legislators wanting students to be able to ask questions about:

“…moral obligations and ethical standards regarding what appears on social media networks and digital platforms.”

The legislators don’t expand on what they believe those moral obligations and ethical standards entail. Does that mean not paying any mind to hate speech?

Could they mean knowing how to effectively engage hate speech with counterarguments to spark critical thought and debate? Or are they referring to selectively silencing speech they don’t like?

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California Assemblyman Marc Berman expresses what he believes is the catalyst for media literacy lessons:

“As we’ve seen too often in the last decade, what happens online can have the most terrifying of real-world impacts. From climate denial to vaccine conspiracy theories to the January 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol, the spread of online misinformation has had global and deadly consequences.”

Media literacy has less to do with spotting deep fake videos or understanding the concept of verifying sources and more to do with indoctrinating youth on ideologies and believing left-wing narratives.

Get ’em while they’re young

Governor Hochul claims the media literacy tools that will be deployed to public schools in New York will provide teachers with the following:

“…tools they need to help these conversations in schools.”

This way, if parents aren’t doing their jobs by policing what their children consume online, the government-funded schools can do it for them. What’s more chilling is that if parents are “conspiracy theorists” as defined by Governors Hochul and Newsom of New York and California, the government-funded school system can help “reprogram” their children to align with the state-sponsored Newspeak.

As California and New York go, so does the rest of the country. Similar media literacy laws exist in New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware, with other states considering following suit. 

What is driving this push to ensure America’s youth are educated appropriately on engaging with social media? This year’s Pew Research survey found that 32% of adults aged 18 to 29 regularly get their news on TikTok, up from 9% in 2020.

The logical question should be why Americans are trusting mainstream and traditional news outlets less and opting instead to get their news from real time sources such as TikTok and X trusting in independent and citizen journalism? That question isn’t the one being asked and tackled because the left isn’t interested in repairing the irrevocably broken legacy journalism concept.

It’s far easier to brainwash the population through “media literacy.”

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson