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Bill would require media safety course for students

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Schoolchildren in Florida would learn how to stay safe online under a bill filed in the state’s Senate for consideration during the legislature’s upcoming regular session.

Filed on Dec. 1, 2022, by Sen. Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills), SB 52 would require public schools to provide instruction on social media safety. Under the proposed measure, social media is defined as any form of interactive electronic internet communication in which a user creates a personal profile in order to connect with others to share content, including images, videos, news stories, ideas, and other information.

If passed, the measure would also call for the Department of Education to make the social media instructional material available online and require local school districts to notify parents when that material is available via the internet.

Similar legislation garnered support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle during the last regular session but died before reaching the legislature floor.

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SB 52 has been referred to the Education Pre-K-12, Appropriations Committee on Education, and the Fiscal Policy committees for review.

If signed into law, it would become effective on July 1, 2023.

The regular legislative session is slated to begin on March 7.

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