A Florida lawmaker wants public school students off social media during school hours.
Rep. Brad Yeager filed a bill on Monday that, as it states, requires each county school district to “prohibit and prevent students from accessing social media platforms through the use of Internet access provided by the school district.”
The bill filed by Yeager, a New Port Richey Republican, would apply in grades 6 through 12.
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The bill coincides with comments this week by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who wondered why students have access to their actual phones during school hours, and who argued that many school districts would welcome a policy to make students put their phones in a centralized location at school for class time.
Yeager’s measure also would require school districts to implement “age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate instruction on social media safety for students in grades 6 through 12.”
The Education Department would mandate that such instructional materials be published on the websites of the department and each school district. Additionally, each school district would be required to notify parents that such materials are available and where to find them.
The social media safety instruction would have to include lessons on the advantages of social media use, with emphasis on career and résumé building for future academic or employment opportunities, sharing information with familiar family and friends, and safely connecting with other users with similar interests.
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The lesson would also teach the risks of social media use, including social media addiction, publication of misinformation, the negative effects on mental health, and the “permanent nature” of content created on social media.
Students would also learn to safely use social media, including instruction in maintaining personal security, preventing “oversharing” of personal information, identifying “predatory behavior,” and reporting suspicious behavior.
It would take effect July 1 if enacted.
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