Stand With Parkland endorses social media ban for minors

Apps for social media in smartphone
The school safety group said the legislation will address youth mental health concerns.

Families impacted by the Parkland shooting endorsed a proposed ban on social media for most minors.

Stand With Parkland formally endorsed the legislation (HB 1). The bill would prohibit anyone in Florida under the age of 16 from opening or maintaining a social media account.

“As we’ve seen in numerous reports over the years — exposure to screen time and social media platforms has a direct correlation to mental health issues,” a statement from Stand With Parkland President Tony Montalto said.

“HB 1 is a step in the right direction in protecting our children from targeted social media. As the country’s leading advocates in school safety — anything we can support that will help alleviate a constant strain on mental health will benefit future generations.”

Montalto founded the organization in 2018 after a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High left 17 dead, including his daughter Gina. The organization in the years since has advocated for measures to prevent school violence. That has included supporting security efforts and school hardening.

But support for the social media ban also indicated an interest in attacking the source of violence among children, namely their mental health.

The social media bill has been a top priority for House Speaker Paul Renner, who has repeatedly noted an increase in mental health problems for U.S. youth since the rise of social media platforms.

“Social media causes unprecedented damage to our children’s mental health,” Renner said in a speech on the floor. “This is a global problem, but it cannot be the fate of our children.”

The House passed a version of the bill already, but the Senate has changed some of the language in the legislation. Senators will consider the bill on the floor on Wednesday. If it passes with altered language, it will have to return to the House for another vote.

To date, the bill still does not include an exception to the ban on use, even with parental permission. Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled concerns whether the bill as written can stand up in court.

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].


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  • Dont Say FLA

    February 21, 2024 at 8:00 am

    Stay on topic, Stand With Parkland. Please stay on topic.

    The topic for which you exist, kids getting shot, is very important.

    Social media is just the latest bogeyman to take the blame for lazy parents too lazy to homeschool, too lazy to pay attention to their kids at all.

    Yes, social media is a cesspool, and yes kids should avoid it imo, but it’s within the existing abilities of parents to control their own children’s access to social media and any other media, same as TV was going to rot everyone’s minds when it first came out.

    TV didn’t rot any brains until Reagan ended the FCC’s fairness doctrine, allowing for CNN and FoxNews and MSNBC and NewsMax etc

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    February 21, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    Impossible to enforce without checking the ID of every single user, adult or not, who wants a social media account. And i’m sure as hell not handing over my ID to the government or Elon Musk or Zuckerberg or anybody so they can verify my age; and then have a confirmed identify attached to my online activity. And neither should you.

Comments are closed.


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