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Clarksville-Montgomery County School System files lawsuit against social media companies amid growing mental health crisis

May 25, 2023

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) has filed a lawsuit against social media companies for the damages and growing mental health crisis among students.

The lawsuit seeks 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 Clarksville-Montgomery County School System is the seventh-largest school district in Tennessee with 43 schools and more than 38,000 students. Frantz Law Group in California, working with Lewis Thomason in Tennessee, filed the lawsuit on behalf of CMCSS.

“There are a litany of issues caused by children using social media without proper protections in place,” said attorney Chris McCarty of Lewis Thomason law firm. “These issues cause disruptions in schools, increased costs and safety concerns. The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System is taking a brave and proactive step to seek accountability and marked changes in the way social media giants interact with children.”

“Over the past few years, we have observed and experienced a rise in mental health issues, threats of school violence, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and other challenges, damages and disruptions linked to students’ use of social media – and the lack of protections and controls thereof,” CMCSS Director Dr. Jean Luna-Vedder said. “Without cooperation and support from social media companies, CMCSS has been fighting an uphill battle. We need to protect our children, our schools and our society.”

The school system is seeking accountability by social media companies for the lack of controls surrounding student access and appropriate content.

William Shinoff, an attorney with the Frantz Law Group said, “Studies link social media use in adolescents with an increase in mental health issues including anxiety and depression. Students, administrators, parents and teachers do not have the resources to address these major concerns. Social media companies have the power to make positive changes to protect children and stop negligent practices.”

Shinoff and McCarty said other Tennessee school districts interested in joining the lawsuit may contact them at:

Chris McCarty
Attorney at Law
Lewis Thomason
[email protected]
865-541-5256

About Lewis Thomason
Lewis Thomason is a statewide Tennessee law firm with offices in Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis. Chris McCarty practices 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.