SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California students may need to take an online safety class in school.
The Cyber Secure Youth Act would require school districts to teach students in grades K-6 and 7-12 “cyber hygiene.” That’s the term used to cover: online account maintenance, secure website recognition, source evaluation, content maintenance, safe online behavior, computer literacy, and community responsibility.
Students would need to be offered the class at least once during kindergarten through 6th grade and again during 7th through 12th grades. The goal would be to not only teach students how to protect themselves online, but also how to develop a healthy attitude about social media, communicating online, and storing personal information on various sites.
California law already requires public school districts to provide programs to teach students in grades 1-12 technological skills, including computer education.
The researchers reportedly noted that teens are at high risk for depression due to their generation’s increasing presence on social media. “Adolescents are increasingly exposed to risk factors derived from the use of new technologies, such as cyber-bullying and problematic social media use,” researchers said, via Minnpost.com.
Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its yearly report on teens and found bullying is now a big threat, and suicide attempts went up.
Pediatrician Mike Zollicoffer says teens may be more isolated because of social media. “You don’t have personal interactions, more touchy-feely anymore, so I think those are the things that also help drive up depression and things of that nature because you just don’t talk anymore.”
California does have a number of laws designed to prevent bullying, including cyber-bullying.
First Lady Melania Trump unveiled her “Be Best” campaign in early May. It’s a campaign to help bring awareness to the most important issues facing the nation’s children including overall well-being, social media and opioid abuse.
Assembly Bill 809 is being heard in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday morning.