The Senate has given its approval to a bill aimed at educating Oklahoma kids and their parents about violence prevention. Senator Glenn Coffee, author of Senate Bill 1651 said the legislation would create a Violence Prevention Education Week, and would also authorize the State Department of Education to create a special website to give parents and others more information about content of violent images in films, TV programs and video games.
The legislation comes as a result of a task force that studied violence in the media and children.
"I'm sure families across our state have different views on what is okay for children to view. However some may simply not be aware of how violent or graphic these images can be. We're simply giving them a way to get complete unbiased information so they can decide what their kids are exposed to," explained Senator Coffee, R-OKC.
The Senator said the website could be incorporated into the new "YourOklahoma.com" as a clearinghouse to web information on various media education resources.
"This is information that is already on the internet. We're just going to make it easier for parents, educators and childcare workers to find it. We're talking about a very minimal effort that will result in a centralized website with links to valuable resources," said Senator Coffee.
In addition, the legislature will work with the State Departments of Education, Tourism and Recreation and local communities to sponsor a Violence Prevention Education Week. Events could include such things as school assemblies and Public Service Announcements on Radio and TV offering positive alternatives to violence.
"For decades the legislature has passed laws dealing with acts of violence after the fact. But it's critical that we do everything possible to help prevent violence in the first place; especially with Oklahoma's children. That's what we hope to accomplish with this legislation," said Senator Coffee.
SB 1651 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.