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Little Rock School District considers filing a class action lawsuit against social media giants nationwide



Little Rock, Arkansas – In order to decide whether to join multi-district litigation against the big social media giants Meta, Google, TikTok, and Snapchat, the Little Rock School District called an extraordinary board meeting on Thursday. The goal of the combined cases is to make those businesses accountable for causing a mental health crisis among young people. Similar to cases against the makers of problematic painkillers and the e-cigarette business Juul, cases on behalf of school districts are being made under the “theory of public nuisance.”

Roughly 1,000 claims have been added to the multidistrict litigation against social media corporations, which includes cases involving school districts, local governments, and individual individuals.

“We all know that social media has an enormous impact on our society at whole and on our children as well. There are studies that talk about the impact of social media on mental health, suicide, addiction, all types of things,” said LRSD Superintendent Jermall Wright.

The Little Rock School District’s board was approached by lawyers from Motley Rice, one of the biggest plaintiffs’ litigation firms in the country, and the Little Rock Buchanan Firm to join their legal battle against Facebook and Instagram.

“We are here today to ask you to retain our firm so that we can start working up your case on your behalf,” Motley Rice attorney Marlon Kimpson told the LRSD board.

Beyond monetary damages, the Buchanan Law Firm claims that the litigation’s objective is to get social media corporations to discontinue their risky business methods…those allegedly purposefully addicting design elements, algorithms, and youth-oriented marketing.

The U.S. Surgeon General recently released figures, which were presented by the Motley Rice attorneys, highlighting the detrimental effects of social media on the mental health of young people. In the end, they provided the school system with a condensed, brief complaint form so that it could participate in the lawsuit.

In the event that the Little Rock School District decides to take part, lawyers will interview district employees to ascertain any potential harm social media may have caused to Little Rock kids and, consequently, the district, and to assess whether they have a case.

A few members of the Little Rock School Board gave their consent.

“I’m going to support this because I do think we need to do our own research and have discussions,” said LRSD board member Norma Johnson, representing Zone 7.

And some, hesitant or categorically against it.

“I already know how I’m going to vote on this. I just think that we have more pressing things and it reminds me of the rap when they were bulldozing over CDs,” said Vicki Hatter, board member for Zone 6.

In the end, the school board decided to postpone the conversation until a later time.

“So, when it was brought to us, this proposal for our district to possibly consider joining this particular lawsuit—that’s not a decision that I can make,” Wright said, “So, my duty was to bring this to our board for discussion this evening and we’ll see where it leads.”

Fayetteville Public Schools became the first school district in Arkansas to join the multidistrict litigation in April.

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