Podcast: Rep. Campbell Says Civics Law Helps Young People Check Their Sources of Information

Rep. Linda Dean Campbell. (WHAV News photograph.)

Learning the basics of how government works is a lesson that state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell wants to make sure is taught in the schools.

Campbell, who represents Methuen and Haverhill and not running for re-election this fall, recently worked with Haverhill state Rep. Andy X. Vargas to advocate for support to further the state’s nearly four-year-old civics education requirement

“It was fantastic because you had the older person, like myself, and you had the younger person, like Andy, really, really pushing for this. He brought so much to the table. He brought a lot of excitement with young people,” Campbell said during a recent appearance on WHAV’s morning show.

As previously reported by WHAV, Campbell said the legislature committed $1.5 million for civics education in each of the past three state budgets, with much of the money going directly to schools to help with curriculum implementation. She said it’s her observation that the country seems to be splitting apart and recent Supreme Court decisions on firearms and abortion, are “hot button issues.”

“I think it’s a time of great challenge nationally, providing our young people, who are going to be making the rules in our society, I think providing them with at least a fundamental understanding of the basic documents and how we attempt in our country to make democracy work. I think it’s so important,” she explained.

Campbell said it’s also important for young people to develop the skills necessary to critically check their sources of information.

“You know the provision we talked about a lot with the law was how to check information, to try and give them the skills, because they’re all online. They don’t read newspapers and magazines. So, to help these young adults figure out how to get information, how to check it, and I think that’s a really important part of the law as well,” she added

Campbell also recognized WHAV’s news efforts. “You know the service you provide for folks, I think, and along the lines of what we’ve been talking about, I think it’s a really important public service. So, thank you for what you do as well.”

Campbell called sponsoring the civics law one of her “proudest achievements,” saying it provides a nonpartisan approach and includes “a hands-on, project-based approach” that helps students learn firsthand how democracy works, and how they can make their voices heard.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

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