SDUHSD joins others to sue social media companies

The SDUHSD Board of Trustees announced plans to sue multiple social media companies with a unanimous vote at a board meeting on April 20, alleging the platforms have caused a mental health crisis among adolescents.

Along with two other school districts in San Diego County, Coronado and Oceanside, SDUHSD will join a state-wide mass action lawsuit against platforms such as Meta, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube.

The district claims that the platforms are designed to specifically target youth, feeding them “harmful” and “exploitative” content that “compromises mental health through deceptive practices including malfunctioning age verification, flawed parental control technology and profit-centered algorithms,” according to SDUHSD Communications Coordinator Miquel Jacobs. These practices, the district alleges, have encouraged “unhealthy social comparisons, eating disorders, harmful behaviors, acts of violence and cyberbullying,” Miquel said.

The lawsuit will order social media defendants to cease “harmful marketing strategies and require more accurate and reliable age verification and parental control settings,” according to Jacobs.

Multiple TPHS students attribute stress and other mental health struggles to social media use.

“I believe that schools have a moral responsibility to address the mental health crisis of our youth. With the legal action taking place currently, companies will hopefully begin to take the deteriorating mental health of our generation more seriously,” Shyla Mighdoll (10), the treasurer of the TPHS Peer Assistance Listener Support, said.

Spending more than eight hours on social media platforms like TikTok and Discord, Kiera Lucero (10) said this screen time has led to a desire to remain updated at all times on online happenings.

“I find myself checking my apps constantly even when there’s nothing new to look at,” Lucero said.

Mighdoll agreed, noting that schools have a responsibility to address this dependence.

“Since we spend most of our time at this age in a school setting, the school staff should care about what happens outside of school as it eventually affects what goes on inside of school and affects the performance of students in class,” Mighdoll said.

Jacobs reiterated Lucero and Mighdoll’s sentiments, stating that the board will seek financial damages in the lawsuit intended to “recoup district funds expended to address our youth mental health needs to cover the cost of counselors and the development and delivery of support programs.”

Read on Issuu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post TPHS students struggle to park amid space shortage
Next post TPHS academic team ends successful season at finals