CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois high school students could soon get a lesson on how to detect “fake news.”
House Bill 1559 would amend the Illinois School Code to give high schools the option of teaching courses or lessons in “media literacy.”READ MORE: Governor Pritzker Announces $300 Million In Grants For Daycare Centers
Beginning with the 2019 school year, students would be taught about how media influence ideas and behavior and the importance of obtaining news from multiple sources. The courses would also teach students about “values and points of view that are included and excluded in the media,” according to the bill’s language.
The bill would also amend the School Code to define media literacy as “the ability to analyze, evaluate, create and communicate using a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, print, visual, audio, interactive and digital texts.”READ MORE: Buffalo Grove Police Shot And Killed Man Who Fired Shots While Armed With 2 Guns
The legislation comes as President Trump escalates his attacks on the media, typically labelling stories critical of him or his administration as “fake news” and calling journalists the “enemy of the people.”
Although, students may already be better prepared to analyze the news, a recent Pew study found. The study found the younger generations were able to better determine the difference between an opinion and a fact, compared with older people.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero). The bill passed the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee by a vote of 20-0.MORE NEWS: Obama’s Back In Chicago To Celebrate The Holiday Season
The bill would not require high schools to add a media literacy class or lessons to its curriculum. Rather, it would ask the new State School Supt. Carmen Ayala to provide guidelines to schools interested in adding the lessons.