The Chelsea School District joins a social media lawsuit


Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The Chelsea School District has joined a lawsuit that aims to address in part the negative impact of social media.

At their Sept. 11 meeting, the CSD Board of Education agreed with Superintendent Michael Kapolka’s recommendation to approve the resolution authorizing the Chelsea School District to join the social media lawsuit.

The lawsuit is being coordinated by the Frantz Law Group, which has commenced litigation on behalf of school districts across the nation against Facebook, TikTok, Snap, YouTube as well as other social media companies. In their statement on the suit, the Frantz law Group said this lawsuit alleges that these companies have caused a mental health crisis among children and teenagers that is marked by higher proportions of anxiety, depression, and thoughts of self-harm, all of which severely affect their ability to succeed in school.

Kapolka told the Sun Times News that “The Chelsea School District joined this lawsuit due to the growing impact of social media issues on our school environment.”

“The extensive time our administrators spend tracking and mitigating social media-related problems both inside and outside of the classroom negatively impacts the typical school day,” said Kapolka. “By joining this lawsuit, districts are aiming to hold social media platforms accountable for their role in these challenges.”

In their statement on the suit, the Frantz Law Group said “The United States surgeon general has declared a national advisory on the youth mental health crisis, blaming social media, in part, for the growing number of youth experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges,” and “The CDC National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that the rate of teen depression rose by more than 60% between 2011 and 2018.”

The law group also said:

“Many children and teenagers spend an inordinate amount of time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms, where they are subjected to often harmful and exploitative content that encourages disordered eating, unhealthy social comparison, and cyberbullying.”

“As a result of this harmful content, students are experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Ultimately, students performing worse in school, are less likely to attend school, are more likely to engage in substance use and to act out, all of which directly affects school districts’ ability to fulfill its educational mission.”

“Our goal in this litigation is to not only hold these companies accountable but also obtain the necessary funding for districts for prevention education and mental health services.”

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