Tucson Unified School District to sue ‘the big guys’ of social media

Jessica Votipka

Arizona Daily Star 

Tucson Unified School District is joining a lawsuit against social media companies, claiming they’re a detriment to students’ mental health.

“We’re going after the big guys,” said TUSD attorney Robert S. Ross., Jr. He mentioned social media giants including Meta, TikTok and Instagram.

The TUSD resolution says the U.S. surgeon general has issued an advisory that there are “growing concerns about the effects of social media on youth mental health.”

That advisory warns that “in early adolescence, brain development is especially susceptible to social pressures, peer opinions and peer comparison. … Social media may perpetuate body dissatisfaction, disordered eating behaviors, social comparison and low self-esteem, especially among adolescent girls. … There is a consistent relationship between excessive social media use and depression among youth,” the TUSD resolution says.

Governing board member Natalie Luna Rose called the authorization to sue “an important step,” saying, “it would show TUSD to be a leader in trying to keep our kids as safe as we can.”

Ross acknowledged it could be an uphill battle, comparing the social media suit to recent district lawsuits against e-cigarette companies.

“These are defendants with probably deeper pockets than even JUUL,” Ross told the board Tuesday night. “We can expect that the resistance will be significant.”


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September 2023