Lowcountry school district sues social media giants claiming harm to students' mental health
The Charleston County School District says social media companies are to blame for a mental health crisis among students.
Charleston County has joined a growing wave of school districts across the nation suing the companies behind Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, claiming the social media giants have harmed the mental health of students.
Charleston County School District filed a 244-page complaint in federal court last week that says America’s children are suffering from an unprecedented mental health crisis, “fueled by defendants’ addictive and dangerous social media platforms."
The lawsuit alleges the companies have not only caused a crisis but have done so for profit, collecting a vast amount of personal information about school aged kids “from the schools they attend, to the sneakers they covet." The information, the suit contends, is then sold to advertisers.
The district says it’s at “a breaking point” and unable to fulfill its educational mission because students suffering from mental health issues are more likely to skip school and abuse drugs and alcohol. The district is asking for a jury trial with compensatory and punitive damages awarded.
Since the beginning of this year, dozens of school districts across the country have filed similar lawsuits or joined in on multidistrict suits against social media companies. All claim the mental health of young people is at stake.
The companies behind the social media platforms have said little publicly about the allegations.