SAN DIEGO – The Coronado and Oceanside Unified school districts
filed lawsuits against a group of social media companies, including Meta,
TikTok, Snap and YouTube, joining scores of other school districts nationwide
that claim social media is harming the mental health of young people.
The lawsuits filed this week in federal court in San Francisco allege
the companies’ platforms are designed to be addictive and are contributing to
an escalating mental health crisis among adolescents.
The complaints filed this week continue a trend of school districts
filing suit against social media giants, with the first such litigation
believed to be a complaint filed in January by Seattle Public Schools.
Both complaints allege in identical language that “the increased use
of and dependency on social media has led to an increase in the number of
Plaintiff’s students in crisis, acting out, vandalizing school property and in
need of mental health services.”
James Frantz, an attorney representing Coronado and Oceanside Unified,
as well as 14 other school districts that filed suit this week, said in a
statement, “We allege that Meta, TikTok, Snap, YouTube and other social media
companies have engaged in reckless and negligent misconduct that has caused a
mental health crisis among our youth. Social media companies are and have been
well aware of the harm they cause. It must stop, and we will fight to hold
these social media companies accountable for choosing profit over the mental
health and safety of children and their families.”
A news release from Frantz Law Group states the litigation “seeks to
provide the funding and resources needed to mitigate the damage that school
districts are currently experiencing.”
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