JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas' public education system is good, really good.
But it took a step back this past week when a joint legislative committee voted to remove journalism classes as a required elective in all Arkansas schools.
That means schools can choose to decide whether or not to offer it.
Journalism is more than writing for the high school paper. It's about being a better writer. That's important.
It's about understanding and questioning what you see - in the paper, on TV news, the radio, Facebook, and everywhere else. That's important too.
Great democracies can't survive without great journalism. It's more important today than ever.
Journalists are being attacked for doing their job - reporting facts - even if we don't always like them.
You can go to your Facebook feed right now and find someone sharing a picture that's too good to be true or news article that's not from a real news site - but it sure looks real.
High school journalism classes teach you to weed through all that mumbo-jumbo and seek the truth by verifying what we see and hear.
Other countries have figured this out and are using it against us. It's hard to understand sometimes why we haven't all figured it out.
I encourage you to be more engaged in what your government is doing.
Remember, it's a representative democracy.
If our current legislature doesn't want to make educating our next generation a priority to keep our democracy strong - then we should find new representatives who are committed to our kids and our nation.
You bet it'll make this A Better Region 8.