District Takes a Stand in Class Action Suit Against Meta
Combating social media risks and advocating for student wellbeing
Campbell Union School District has officially joined a class action lawsuit against Meta, alleging that their products are intentionally designed to be addictive, marketed towards children, and are negatively impacting student mental health, according to District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.
“Our teachers and administrators see the adverse effects of social media on children's mental health and learning capabilities every day,” said Dr. Viramontez. “We don’t anticipate any financial gain. We want to raise awareness and combat the harm caused by the seemingly deliberate manipulation of children and youth.”
Multiple studies underscore the risks and behaviors of children who use social media:
- Nearly 40% of children 8-12 years old use social media. Those are peak years for brain development and risk-taking behavior.
- Up to 95% of youth age 13-17 report using social media—More than ⅓ say “almost constantly”
- Children and adolescents on social media are commonly exposed to extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content.
- Those spending 3-plus hours/day on social media face twice the risk of poor mental health, including depression and anxiety symptoms. (8th & 10th graders average 3.5 hours/day on it.)
- Studies limiting use of social media resulted in mental health benefits for young adults.
- Excessive use is linked to sleep problems, attention problems and feelings of exclusion.
“Our top priorities are ensuring student safety and educating them to their highest potential,” Dr. Viramontez said. “We do that on multiple fronts: We have multiple layers of filters, protocols, and systems to protect students on district-issued devices; we educate our students to be critical thinkers and responsible digital citizens, not passive consumers of media; our middle schools are certified Common Sense Media schools, and we collaborate with families to encourage digital wellness and responsible technology use.”
Want to Learn More?
- Parents' Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls, Common Sense Media, October 2019
- Social Media and Youth Mental Health, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, May 2023
- Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health, National Library of Medicine, February 2020
- Board Policy 5131, Campbell Union School District Governing Board
- Social Media Use in 2021, Pew Research Center, April 2021
- Time spent with media in the U.S. 2020, by age group, Statista.com, June 2022
- Time Flies: U.S. Adults Now Spend Nearly Half a Day Interacting with Media, The Nielsen Company, July 2018