McKeesport, April 12, 2023 – State Sen. Jim Brewster today applauded Pittsburgh Public Schools for joining a growing number of districts that are suing social media giants for ignoring and exacerbating a growing mental health crisis among students.
“The reckless race for profit and digital dominance has been catastrophic for students and educators across the country,” Brewster said. “Social media companies continue to seek ever more sophisticated ways to capture student attention and create a virtual addiction to their platforms. It’s no different than what cigarette companies did for years while ignoring the evidence.”
Pittsburgh Public Schools announced last week that it has filed suit against a Facebook parent company Meta, as well as Instagram, TikTok and others for producing “an unprecedented mental health crisis fueled by addictive and dangerous social media platforms.”
In filing the suit, Pittsburgh joins Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as well as San Mateo County, California in suing social media giants for their role in the growing challenge schools and parents face safeguarding the mental health of students.
“These companies have been paying lip service to age and safety protocols and continue to develop their technology in a way that encourages compulsive and addictive use which adversely affects students’ mental health. They’re not listening to educators, parents, mental health professionals or law enforcement,” Brewster said. “The only way to make them listen is to hit them where their attention is, and that’s in the bank book.”
Brewster, a founding member of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety Committee, said Pennsylvania and other states are spending millions dealing with the growing mental health crisis and the resulting crime and violence.
“They make the money, and we foot the bill,” Brewster said. “And in the meantime, we lose a generation of potential. That’s unacceptable and I’m glad that Pittsburgh Schools will lead the charge in this fight.”