OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Oswego City School District is joining others in a class action lawsuit against social media companies, claiming the platforms are responsible for student struggles with mental health.
Worries over social media are growing nationwide, including at Oswego City School District.
“We’re seeing greater and greater concerns as a result of its use,” said Raymond Kilmer, superintendent of schools at Oswego City School District.
The use of Facebook, Google and TikTok has led to this class action lawsuit. More than 200 school districts are blaming the social media giants for allegedly causing emotional distress among their students, claiming the companies are aware of the issues but not doing anything about it.
“Be more responsible, place the priority with safety, health and welfare first to help us support our children,” said Kilmer.
Kilmer says the lawsuit was brought to the district’s attention in mid-August. After consulting with their legal team, the school board decided to join the suit on October 3.
“It’s less about money and more about trying to get these technology companies to adjust how they’re interacting with our youth,” said Kilmer.
Kilmer says the district is seeing more and more younger kids using social media, not just high schoolers. The district allows its high school students to use their cell phones during non-academic periods, and the district doesn’t plan on changing that policy.
“We understand that technology is a part of their lives, and so we don’t want to necessarily try to completely eliminate it but at the same time trying to provide them opportunities where it is ok, and then it’s not ok,” said Kilmer.
The district says social workers, counselors and psychologists are available to students who may be struggling.
Other local school districts joining the lawsuit include Jamesville-DeWitt, East Syracuse-Minoa, North Syracuse Central School District, Westhill and several others.