By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey state senate committee has approved a measure that would require schools throughout the state to teach the benefits and dangers involved in using social media.
A full senate vote is all that stands in the way of Governor Chris Christie’s consideration of the plan.
Camden County Assemblyman Angel Fuentes is one of the original sponsors of the bill. He stresses the need for kids to know how the web can help — and hurt.
“It could affect them if they apply for a college or university,” says Fuentes, “or if they wish to enter the Armed Forces, or even a career for that matter.”
Several schools already provide such instruction on the proper use of Facebook, Twitter and the like on their own, and Fuentes dismisses talk in some circles that this would be another unfunded mandate on schools. After all, they already address drug use and safe sex.
“We want our children to take advantage of social media,” said Fuentes, “but at the same token, to learn about the consequences, the negative consequences.”
And those can go far beyond embarrassment. There have been witness reports of cyber bullying that have led some young people to commit suicide.
Fuentes suggests this is a public safety issue that needs attention.