(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) New Jersey public schools will start teaching “information literacy” classes to grades K-12 in order to teach children about purported “disinformation” in order to protect “democracy.
“Our democracy remains under sustained attack through the proliferation of disinformation that is eroding the role of truth in our political and civic discourse,” Murphy said in a statement.
“It is our responsibility to ensure our nation’s future leaders are equipped with the tools necessary to identify fact from fiction.”
The bill orders the state’s Department of Education to write standards fo school districts to teach “information literacy” and critical thinking skills.
“Information literacy is more important now than ever before, especially with the growing prevalence of social media and online news,” said Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan.
Both state Democrats and Republicans lent their support for the bill, claiming that the law will sharpen children’s discernment and “help them to weigh the flood of news, opinion and social media they are exposed to both online and off.”
Democrat State Senator Shirley Turner linked the bill to the protests in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021.
“This signing feels especially timely as we approach the second anniversary of the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. It is incredibly important that our children are taught how to discern reliable sources and recognize false information,” she claimed.
The mandated courses will include materials regarding “critical thinking and using information resources; the difference between facts, points of view, and opinions; and the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information.”
Murphy bragged about the law being the first-ever state legislation forcing “information literacy” and critical thinking skills into New Jersey’s schools.
He also took the time to discuss his “Disinformation Portal,” which he launched with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security Preparedness.
The portal includes resources discussing a variety of topics, including “how disinformation hampers efforts to curb monkeypox,” and how “domestic extremists promote violence to oppose elections.”