Jimmy Patronis slams TikTok as ‘digital fentanyl’ with no place in schools

The House passed a ban on using TikTok on school networks.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis called TikTok a “digital fentanyl” that doesn’t belong in Florida classrooms. And he’s praising House efforts to ban social media apps at public schools.

The Florida House passed legislation (HB 379) in a 110-0 vote on Friday. If it becomes law, the legislation would require public school districts to block access to social media over school-provided wi-fi and prohibit installing apps for social media on any school devices.

Patronis singled out the popular TikTok platform, where individuals post short videos, as especially toxic to teenagers’ minds.

“TikTok is digital fentanyl and does not belong in our kids’ education,” Patronis said. “It fills their minds with rot and robs them of normal healthy social development. As the father of two boys, I understand how invasive these social media apps can be and the influence they have on Florida’s children.”

The legislation was sponsored in the House by state Rep. Brad Yeager, a New Port Richey Republican.

“Thank you to Representative Yeager for pushing this bill across the finish line in the Florida House,” Patronis said.

A Senate companion bill (SB 52) sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, a Zephyrhills Republican, has advanced through all committees and is ready to be heard on the Senate floor.

While the bill deals with numerous platforms, TikTok received particular scrutiny from elected officials because of who owns it. Patronis took issue with that application’s ties to the Communist Chinese Party.

“TikTok is also a major security risk with ties to the CCP and should have no place on our college campuses or in our state government buildings,” Patronis said.

Yeager’s bill does not ban the app in all state government buildings, but Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order last year doing so. The Senate Fiscal Police Committee unanimously advanced legislation (SB 258), also carried by Burgess, that would codify that into statute. But a companion bill (HB 563) to that has not been voted on by a House committee yet.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Billy the Bamboozler AkA Deadbeat Dad

    April 2, 2023 at 10:54 am

    Social media is detrimental… but constantly mentioning Fentanyl is getting old. Ashley Moody’s Fentanyl Halloween candy.🍬 GOP party of terrorism, cross dressing, and Fentanyl. Many of them need euthanasia via Fentanyl.

  • tom palmer

    April 2, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    I guess it was a slow news week to allow crap like that to be published. Patronis is pathetic.

  • Mr. Haney

    April 2, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    Does Patronis have an actual job? And what exactly would he know about schools?

Comments are closed.


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