knoxville news
knoxville news entertainment rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices travel knoxville sports business knoxville daily sun lifestyle food knoxville daily sun advertising about knoxville daily sun

Three dozen Tennessee school systems join lawsuit against social media companies
Submitted by Lauren Miller
March 19, 2024, 12:25 p.m.

Seek protection for students

Amid a growing mental health crisis among students, 36 Tennessee school systems have filed similar lawsuits against social media companies for protection for children across multiple popular platforms.

The lawsuits seek actionable accountability, tools and resources to address the lack of protections, monitors, controls and cooperation to protect children. Companies included in the lawsuit include Meta, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Google, WhatsApp and YouTube (Meta Platforms, Inc; Facebook Holdings, LLC; Facebook Operations, LLC; Meta Platforms Technologies, LLC; Meta Payments, Inc.; Instagram, LLC; Siculus, Inc.; Snap, Inc.; TikTok, Inc.; ByteDance, Inc.; Alphabet, Inc.; Google, LLC; XXVI Holdings, Inc.; WhatsApp, Inc.; and YouTube, LLC.).

The suits, with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System filing as the first Tennessee district, now include multiple systems, including Shelby County Schools, the largest public school system in the state. Frantz Law Group in California, working with Lewis Thomason in Tennessee, is managing the lawsuit.

“The concern about the lack of proper protections and the negative impacts on children who use social media is clearly an important issue for school systems across the state,” Lewis Thomason attorney Chris McCarty said. “Hundreds of thousands of students are represented by these school systems, which amplifies the demands to social media giants.”

Chuck Carter, director of Sullivan County Schools, said, “With the ever-increasing use of social media among students, we’ve seen negative effects in the classroom, including disruptions, mental health issues and safety concerns. We’re charged with educating, preparing and protecting students and consider the requests in the lawsuit to be common sense solutions that could make a positive impact to combat these issues.”

The boards of all school systems in the social media litigation voted to join the lawsuit, and include:

Anderson County Schools
Bedford County Schools
Bledsoe County Schools
Blount County Schools
Cannon County Schools
Claiborne County Schools
Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools
Collierville Schools
Cumberland County Schools
Fentress County Schools
Grainger County Schools
Greene County Schools
Greeneville City Schools
Hamblen County Schools
Humphreys County Schools
Johnson City Schools
Johnson County Schools
Knox County Schools
Lenoir City Schools
Lincoln County Schools
Loudon County Schools
Maryville City Schools
Metro Nashville Public Schools
Oak Ridge City Schools
Oneida Special School District
Putnam County Schools
Sevier County Schools
Shelby County Schools
Stewart County Schools
Sullivan County Schools
Van Buren County Schools
Warren County Schools
Wilson County Schools

“Controls for student access to these platforms combined with helpful resources have the potential to help parents, teachers and students as they navigate social media,” said William Shinoff, an attorney with the Frantz Law Group. “These media giants have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to protect children.”

Other Tennessee school districts interested in joining the lawsuit may contact:

Chris McCarty
Attorney at Law
Lewis Thomason

About Lewis Thomason
Lewis Thomason is a statewide Tennessee law firm with offices in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis. Chris McCarty focuses most of his practice on education and employment law, representing numerous Tennessee school systems.

About Frantz Law Group
Frantz Law Group is a full-service law firm with offices across California. William Shinoff practices in several areas of the law including mass tort/class action cases and has represented school boards and public entities.

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2024 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy