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Vallecitos School District joins class action suit against social media companies

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The Vallecitos School District joined a class action lawsuit against social media companies.

The Vallecitos board voted 4-0 May 9, with one vacancy, to approve a legal services agreement with Frantz Law Group for the purpose of the litigation with the social media companies. The agreement designates Vallecitos School District superintendent Meliton Sanchez or his designee as the school district representative to work with the Frantz Law Group attorneys.

“The board elected to join the class action suit against the various social media companies in the hopes that we can ultimately end up with some good safeguards in place,” Sanchez said.

Frantz Law Group is based in San Diego. On April 13 the firm, representing 16 school districts across the nation, filed a lawsuit in the San Francisco district of Federal court against Meta (which owns Facebook), TikTok, Snap, YouTube, and other social media companies for knowingly causing harm to children who use their products through their manipulative algorithms which cause addiction.

The complaint alleges that the social media companies have caused a mental and emotional health crisis among school-age children and have prioritized profit over the mental health and safety of children and their families. The lawsuit claims that the mental and emotional health crisis created by the students’ social media use has resulted in increased anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm, all of which severely affect their ability to succeed in school.

Students are also often subjected to harmful and exploitative content which encourages disorderly behavior, unhealthy social comparison, and cyberbullying. The litigation seeks to provide the funding and resources needed to mitigate the damage the school districts have experienced.

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit include two other San Diego County school districts: the Coronado Unified School District and the Oceanside Unified School District.

 

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