Tell United Airlines: No Media Violence on Overhead Screens; Tell Chicago's Mayor: No Coke Ads on Residential Recycling Bins; Screen-Free Week Is Almost Here!; CCFC's 8th Consuming Kids Summit: All About Change; Standing Up for Children’s Privacy; Protecting Confidential Student Data; Have You Seen Our Blog Lately?; Disturbing New School Commercialism Report; Support CCFC
In this issue:
For years, United Airlines has refused multiple requests from parents and advocates to stop showing violent movies on overhead screens. But after a flight crew’s overreaction to a family’s efforts to shield their children from the violent PG-13 film Alex Cross, the airline has agreed to review its policies. For parents who travel with young children, being unable to escape from violent media is an all-too-familiar experience. Let’s change that. Learn more and add your voice to the nearly 2,000 parents who have urged United to stop showing violent PG-13 movies on publicly-visible overhead screens by visiting http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/action/tell-united-no-media-violence-overhead-screens.
If we don’t act now, the steady erosion of ad-free personal space and the escalation of unavoidable marketing will get a lot worse.
This week, the City of Chicago announced that Coca-Cola will donate 50,000 blue bins for household recycling. Sounds generous, but it’s really a cleverly disguised purchase of advertising space. In exchange, the bin lids will feature images of Coca-Cola products. It’s great that Chicago is expanding its recycling services, but residents should be able to participate without having Coke ads forced on them. And no city should enlist its residents to become advertisers without their consent. No matter where you live, let’s stop this dangerous commercial escalation before it starts. Please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/action/tell-rahm-emanuel-no-coke-ads-residential-recycling-bins to learn more and take action.
Screen-Free Week kicks off this Monday, April 29, and thanks to all of your efforts, it’s shaping up to be the best one yet! Whether you’ve been planning for weeks or are a last-minute Larry, here are some important links:
- Get your Organizer’s Kit and parent, teacher, and community quick guides at http://www.screenfree.org/resources.htm.
- Find a Screen-Free Week event (or list your own) at http://www.screenfree.org/events.htm.
- KaBOOM! will send its favorite outdoor games guide to anyone who pledges to do 60 minutes of active play each day of Screen-Free Week.
- Our 101 Screen-Free Activities is a must-download.
On March 21-23, parents, educators, activists, students, and health care professionals gathered at Wheelock College in Boston for CCFC’s 8th Consuming Kids Summit. Attendees from around the world heard electrifying keynotes from Lenore Skenazy, Michael Rich, Diane Levin, Makani Themba, and Alex Bogusky. Breakout sessions and lunch discussions, led by over 30 presenters from as far away as Brazil and Peru, were held on a range of topics including: reducing children’s screen time, combating junk food marketing, transforming neighborhoods into playborhoods, resisting the corporate takeover of education, using social media to combat sexualization, and more. To learn more about the summit, please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/blog/ccfcs-8th-consuming-kids-summit-all-about-change. And be sure to treat yourself to Lenore Skenazy’s hilarious and unforgettable opening keynote by visiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht8lafizx0I.
In December, the Federal Trade Commission announced long overdue update to the rules that protect children’s privacy online. The new rules were an important victory for children and families, and the growing coalition to protect children from exploitative digital marketing. Unfortunately, the companies that profit from marketing to children online and on mobile platforms are lobbying the FTC to delay these important changes. That’s why CCFC is joining our friends at the Center for Digital Democracy and other advocates for children in urging the FTC to implement the rules on July 1, as planned. You can read more about our coalition’s efforts in this article in the Washington Post.
CCFC and other advocates for privacy, children, and education are demanding that Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, and six other states end a plan to share confidential student data with for-profit companies. The Gates Foundation is building a national “data store,” called inBloom, of personally identifiable information that will then be shared with private companies. inBloom has been configured to collect, store, and share incredibly sensitive information, including student names, test scores, grades, disciplinary and attendance records, and even if a student is pregnant or has refugee status. In Massachusetts, CCFC is working in conjunction with the Mass PTA, the ACLU of Massachusetts, and Citizens for Public Schools to end the state’s participation in this project. To learn more, read CCFC’s Josh Golin’s testimony to the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education here. You can also find links to news articles about the inBloom controversy here.
If you haven’t visited the CCFC blog in a while, you might be surprised by all the great new posts from a wide-range of authors. Here’s a sample:
- Ingrid Griffee, from Utah Moms for Clean Air, on how an Earth Day contest exploits and misinforms children.
- Abraham Entin, from Move to Amend, on Corporations, the Constitution and our Kids.
- Michele Simon on a retailer that had the courage to say no to exploiting children.
- Plus tons of Screen-Free Week organizers weigh in with their tips, ideas, and plans for Screen-Free Week 2013!
A new report from our friends at The National Education Policy Center, Promoting Consumption at School: Health Threats Associated with Schoolhouse Commercialism, is a must-read for anyone concerned about the growing corporate assault on schools. The report explains, in shocking detail, the ways in which marketers have infiltrated schools and classrooms. This marketing raises little money for schools and negatively affects children’s health and social development. The authors argue that advertising can even undermine education, promoting brand loyalty at the expense of critical thinking skills.
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