BALTIMORE - Anne Arundel County Public Schools filed a lawsuit against social media companies Meta, Google, ByteDance, and Snap Inc. for their roles in the youth mental health crisis.
The district alleges that its social media platforms increase the mental health crisis for its 85,000 students and place an increasingly large burden on the school system to provide essential mental health resources.
Anne Arundel County, and other districts across the country, say students have been significantly impacted by intense feelings of depression, anxiety, and body image issues, among others.
Anne Arundel joins school districts across the country, including Harford County and Howard County in Maryland, in alleging that increased social media use and addiction is leading to a worsening mental health crisis in the student population.
District officials say that due to this ongoing addiction crisis, AACPS faces the challenge of providing sufficient mental health resources and proactive social media education to its student body.
"Students in our district and across the nation are experiencing a growing mental health crisis because of social media companies and their addictive platforms. Our focus with this lawsuit is ensuring the wellbeing of our students and providing them with a healthy learning environment," Superintendent of Anne Arundel County Public Schools Dr. Mark Bedell said. "Social media companies must take responsibility for their role in this crisis, which has made educating our students exponentially more difficult and compelled us to divert essential funding meant for education toward mental health programs."
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