According to the Foundation for Freedom Online, one of the recommended 'media' partners of the Courageous RI K-12 'media literacy' scam has been exposed to be an overtly partisan operation that seeks to not only censor, but also to bankrupt, conservative news outlets.

RI Government Colludes with Feds to Indoctrinate Students via “Media Literacy” Scam

RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity Played an Early Role in the Investigation

Conservatives and Christians Targeted with Funds Intended to Combat Terrorism

RI Secretary of State, Greg Amore, and RI Foundation CEO and ex-Congressman, David Cicilline Implicated

It may sound innocuous, but the “media literacy” initiative underway in Rhode Island is actually a highly complex censorship scheme, involving multiple government agencies and organizations in Rhode Island, designed to indoctrinate students with a far-left worldview … all funded by the federal Department of Homeland Security.

In a recent series of reports published by the Media Research Center’s “Censorship Investigation Project”, it was revealed that Rhode Island is perhaps the most expansive of the 20 or so states where federal dollars are being utilized by Biden’s DHS in a three-phase political strategy that trains teachers to use censorship tools in their classroom.

The reports demonstrate how Rhode Island State agencies and NGO’s colluded with the Biden administration to continue the Left’s assault on the traditional family unit, by weaponizing government within K-12 schools in an effort to destroy conservatives and Christians, in this case by adopting a German-style censorship playbook.

Per one of the MRC reports:

“Under the Trump administration, the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP) was used to prevent terrorism, but it was revamped under the Biden administration and renamed  to provide funding for localities to combat “all forms of terrorism and targeted violence.” Instead of focusing on preventing actual violence and terrorism, the program is now being used to target the entire spectrum of the political right and Christians through “media literacy and online critical thinking initiatives” and other so-called training seminars as part of a coordinated effort to make America into a one-party system.”

In March of 2023, The Ocean State Current first reported on the Rhode Island version of the scheme, following a press conference announcing the launch of “Courageous RI”, one of the groups formed with the DHS funds. In the report the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity called the group’s mission a scam intended to further indoctrinate students, teachers, parents, and citizens in the Ocean State with radical-left and divisive theories that portray conservatives who disagree with false government narratives as instigating “hate speech”, “violence”, and “domestic terrorism”… and to turn citizens against each other.

Both Republicans and Democrats participated in the press conference and were in support of previously enacted and related “action civics” legislation. Were they ignorant of the true intent of these programs … or complicit in using public dollars to politically influence K-12 students?

But the full extent of the program and the collusion of so many government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations was not yet known. DHS is using the University of Rhode Island’s Media Education Lab, in full cooperation with state government agencies, to funnel taxpayer money to other groups to execute the illicit program.

In the summer of 2023, MRC contacted the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, seeking to conduct a deeper investigation into the Ocean State scheme. The Center worked with MRC to identify intelligence gathering sources in the state and to provide local background information.

“This whole taxpayer-funded media literacy project is a scam – it should become a statewide scandal. We are stunned by the findings in these MRC reports; findings that directly implicate the Office of the Secretary of State, Greg Amore, the RI Department of Health, the RI Department of Education, the University of Rhode Island, and former Congressman David Cicilline and the RI Foundation,” lamented Mike Stenhouse, CEO of the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. “We are proud to have played an early role in helping MRC get their investigation off the ground in Rhode Island.”

In short, this DHS funded endeavor to indoctrinate students is intended to censor and attack conservative-leaning news and information websites, while praising and promoting liberal and left-leaning media sources.

“Such efforts are clear violations of the First Amendment rights, where government agencies and public funding are being used to silence political dissent,” concluded Stenhouse.

Worst of all, as Phase-3 of its ‘critical thinking’ brainwashing of children, URI’s Media Education Lab is now paying students to be political activists by offering cash prizes of up to $1000 for social media posts that are “designed to raise public awareness of the harms of hateful extremist propaganda” in the conservative media.

Further, in typical follow-the-money fashion, when school districts that purchase the recommended media censorship tools, the organizations formed with DHS funds as part of this program … profit by receiving a sizeable kick-back.

The detailed MRC reports were released in two parts, Part 1 on January 9th and Part 2 on January 17th. In May of 2023 MRC published a related report about a similar scheme being run out of the University of Dayton, which overtly targeted the Heritage Foundation and Fox News, among many other credible conservative news and advocacy organizations, and portrayed them, essentially, as hate groups.

Featured Image by Judicial Watch

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in The Ocean State Current, including text, graphics, images, and information are solely those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the views and opinions of The Current, the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, or its members or staff. The Current cannot be held responsible for information posted or provided by third-party sources. Readers are encouraged to fact check any information on this web site with other sources.

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