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NJ bill requires middle schoolers to learn social media skills

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In case you thought the only news coming out of the Garden State revolved around Chris Christie’s lousy bridge hand, an article at the New York Observer reminds us that the wheels of government continue to turn there. That they are taking a turn for the worse is suggested by the content, which notes that the New Jersey Senate on Friday passed a bill requiring “a course on responsible social media use for sixth-through-eighth graders.”

The article’s author, Molly Mulshine, adds sarcastically, “because adults are always so good at teaching young people about tech.”

The new law, she goes on to note, is not limited to instruction in Twitter and Facebook but will also teach the kiddies about “cyber safety, cyber security, and cyber ethics.” Maybe one of the students who receives a passing grade can become an advisor to the Obama administration’s new digital partner in working out the kinks of Healthcare.gov, which continues to be plagued by security glitches.

M. Teresa Ruiz, a Democratic state senator, says of the law:

It is never too early to teach our youth that online actions in the digital world have far-reaching consequences in real life, and this bill goes a long way towards doing that.

There is no word in the article over what qualifications the teacher(s) assigned to this block of instruction will have, but Mulshine quips:

Can you even imagine the bloated old farts that taught you in middle school trying to explain the nuances of a Twitter canoe?

No fairs, by the way, if you needed to click on that link to look the term up.

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