A student at Klein ISD recently created a fake news story centering around a DEA investigation occurring in Klein ISD. This was done as part of a digital citizenship curriculum assignment created by a teacher at a high school here in the district. The purpose of this assignment was to display the dangers of fake news and social media, however, things quickly got out of hand. Parents and students began to share the fake article rapidly over social media, not knowing it was filled with false information.

“One student posted a fake news story about a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) investigation that has been shared repeatedly online. This post is NOT TRUE. The @kleinisdpd and campus and district administration have investigated this claim. Students are sharing this story not knowing that it is NOT TRUE,” the Klein ISD Twitter page said.

Social media is often a double-edged sword, capable of both helping and causing harm. These platforms are important tools and can be incredibly helpful if utilized correctly. In recent years, however, platforms such as Facebook have become notorious for the spread of false information. As social media continues to rise we retweet, share, and upload without taking a moment to check the facts. The damage caused by this spread of false information can be lasting, even when the truth is eventually realized.

“Social media has the ability to connect us in ways we’ve never had before. It is a powerful tool when used for the right reasons. IT is just as powerful when used-knowingly or not-irresponsibly. This is the unfortunate power of social media,” stated the Klein ISD Twitter page.

This spread of fake news amongst our district has clearly been a problem, but something can be learned from this mess. The spread of false information is almost inevitable, but it does not have to be common. Taking just a few minutes of your time to research a situation can reveal the truth. When you come across a new story or claim, take the time to check multiple sources that are reputable, even ones that may not align with your views entirely. Fake news can spread like a virus in our modern world, it’s important that you’re on the watch for it.

“This is a teachable moment for all of us, and it’s a conversation we should all be having,” stated the Klein ISD Twitter page. “Families can use this to start the conversation about the power of social media and the damage fake news can create.”