POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County School District is the latest to join a lawsuit against major social media companies accusing the parent companies of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube of contributing to mental health issues with students.
“At this point, it appears that about half the school districts in Florida have joined litigation, this one or similar, as well as school districts across the country,” said Wes Bridges, general counsel for the board.
The move comes after the Pinellas County School District joined the same lawsuit. There was no discussion amongst board members before the decision passed, with board member William Allen voting against it.
The Department of Health and Human Services says students who spend more than three hours on social media per day face double the risk of mental health issues.
Additionally, the Polk County School Board also agreed to an additional settlement with JUUL, the makers of vape and e-cigarette devices. This recent settlement totals more than $752,000.
The Superintendent told board members that most of the settlement money will be used for vaping detection devices in school restrooms, as well as anti-tobacco and anti-vaping campaigns in educations throughout schools.