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🚌👦👧 Ontario's Largest School Boards Sue Social Media Giants for Disrupting Students' Fundamental Right to Education

Monday, 01 April 2024 06:12.PM

- School boards seek damages for disruption to student learning and the education system -

On March 28, Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Peel District School Board (PDSB), Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), and Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) have commenced legal action against tech giants Meta Platforms Inc. (Facebook and Instagram), Snap Inc. (SnapChat), and ByteDance Ltd. (TikTok) for disrupting student learning and the education system. The lawsuit claims that social media products, negligently designed for compulsive use, have rewired the way children think, behave, and learn, leaving educators and schools to manage the fallout.

Students are experiencing an attention, learning, and mental health crisis because of prolific and compulsive use of social media products. The fall out of compulsive use of social media amongst students is causing massive strains on the four school boards' finite resources, including additional needs for in-school mental health programming and personnel, increased IT costs, and additional administrative resources. Collectively, the boards are advancing claims in excess of four billion dollars. This action calls on social media giants to remediate these enormous costs to the education system, to redesign their products to keep students safe.

Neinstein LLP, a Toronto-based boutique litigation firm, has been retained by the aforementioned school boards to represent them in their fight for social media change. The goal of the litigation is to provide school boards with the resources needed to support student programming and services, and to respond to the school-based problems social media giants have caused. School boards will not be responsible for any costs related to the lawsuit unless a successful outcome is reached.

To learn more about the lawsuit and to follow developments, please visit the Schools for Social Media Change Alliance at https://schoolboardsforch....

"The influence of social media on today's youth at school cannot be denied. It leads to pervasive problems such as distraction, social withdrawal, cyberbullying, a rapid escalation of aggression, and mental health challenges. Therefore, it is imperative that we take steps to ensure the well-being of our youth. We are calling for measures to be implemented to mitigate these harms and prioritize the mental health and academic success of our future generation." - Colleen Russell-Rawlins, Director of Education, Toronto District School Board

SOURCE: Schools for Social Media Change