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Dexter Community Schools joins federal lawsuit against social media companies

Dexter Community Schools have been one of the first districts in Washtenaw County to join a national lawsuit against social media companies. The lawsuit claims companies like Facebook and Instagram aren’t doing enough to protect kids.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California and says the social media platforms are designed to be addictive.

Dexter Community Schools superintendent Dr. Christopher Timmis says studies show social media use with children leads to higher rates of anxiety, depression, cyberbullying and increased rates of suicide.

“We’ll have 9-, 10-, and 11-year-olds who are on one of the apps, and they’re doing things that are inappropriate that then seeps its way into the school and creates issues between kids in a school.”

Timmis says his district is working with parents to address the problem, but there are no safeguards in place to keep kids from using the apps.

“We have kids as early as eight years old that have cell phones, and they’re getting on social media. And many of the social media apps are marketed to kids, and it's not appropriate for kids in its current form.”

Timmis says he expects other districts around Washtenaw County will join the lawsuit.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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