The internet, both the greatest invention and biggest threat for society today. One population that is mentally affected more than any other are our children. That’s why Thursday, CCSD and the Clark County School Board of Trustees voted to approve lawsuits with social media giants TikTok and Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta in its crosshairs.
At the board meeting Thursday, they gave the greenlight for law firms to go after the social media giants.
Why is CCSD clearing the way for these lawsuits?
This is not a decision that CCSD came to on their own. Nationwide, multiple school districts, cities and states have taken aim against the industry. Between unrelenting bullying that happens on the platforms, algorithms that (inadvertently, perhaps) put some of the worst content into the minds of our kids and more. In “the day,” bullying would stop when your kid walked into their home. Now? Not quite. Terrible body images advertised at the check out counter would stay at the grocery store. Now they follow your kid and bombard them with swipe after swipe, falling deeper into the algorithm that makes the services more addictive than nicotine.
The CDC points to data that shows from 2011-2021, the average female in particular has seen a rise in considering attempting suicide. In 2011, that number was a mere 19 percent. By 2021 that had risen dramatically to 30 percent. Obviously COVID and shut downs didn’t help, but the numbers in 2019 were a fairly large jump. Suicidal thoughts for boys stayed flat from 2011-2019, with a slight uptick by 2021. Thoughts of hopelessness also rose dramatically between both boys and girls during the same eight year time frame.
Mental health issues that arise from social media use result in kids acting out in school, which makes it near impossible for educators to educate effectively.
What happens now?
Now law firms will be free to seek lawsuits against the social media powerhouses, like dozens of districts before them, to see not only a monetary award but potentially significant and meaningful change to the service as a whole. It is worth noting CCSD has dealt with social media issues as recently as last week that had the district and CCSDPD scrambling.
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