With so much rain lately your kids are probably spending a lot of time indoors staring at a computer screen.

Facebook's New Policy

Do you know what they're doing on social media sites like Facebook? More importantly, do they know what they're doing?

The full Assembly has approved a bill that would require school districts to provide instruction on the responsible use of social media as part of the district's implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Technology.

In the Assembly the legislation sponsored by Angel Fuentes, Pat Diegnan and Valerie Vainieri Huttle. State Sen. Jim Beach sponsors the measure in the Upper House. The bill is designed to help educate New Jersey students on the responsible use of social media and the many pitfalls that come along with its use.

"The advent of social media has made it a far more complicated and different world for adolescents growing up today than it was for their parents," says Diegnan. "Whether it's adolescent impulsiveness or something more dangerous like bullying and harassment, it bears far more serious consequences when carried out over social media. It's important that we educate students early about the proper way to go about using these platforms."

The sponsors underscore the importance of the legislation in the wake of many high-profile tragedies prompted by social media use, including the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi and two high-profile rape cases in California and Ohio, which resulted in one suicide.

"We've all made foolish mistakes as kids, but nowadays those decisions can be magnified tenfold by social media, creating many unfortunate consequences for children," says Fuentes. "Every day we see stories about youngsters facing legal repercussions, humiliation and tragically, even suicide, as a result of social media activity. Proper education will hopefully help open students eyes to these consequences so they do not end up as the next unfortunate headline."

Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education would be required to provide school districts with sample learning activities and resources designed to promote the responsible use of social media.

"Social media is powering the world today and can affect college prospects, job opportunities and much more," says Vainieri Huttle. "It's important that we teach kids at an early age to use these tools responsibly so they don't make any foolish mistakes that could derail their lives before they even get started."


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