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Relating to digital citizenship instruction in public schools.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 129 would require the State Board of Education to require students enrolled in 6th grade to complete instruction in digital citizenship as part of their normal social studies curriculum. Digital citizenship includes digital ethics, etiquette, respectful discourse with people who have differing opinions, safety, security, digital footprint, and the identification of rhetoric that incites violence. The instruction would also include cyberbullying prevention and response, and the importance, history, and application of the right to freedom of speech contained in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States.
Texas Action is opposed to HB 129 on the principle of limited government as it would place school districts in the position of being the arbiter of appropriate standards for online behavior rather than parents. While it may contain helpful outlines for appropriate online behavior, such instruction is still best left up to families and communities to teach and enforce.