TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill aiming to ban the popular social media app TikTok from Florida K-12 classrooms unanimously passed the House on Wednesday.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued a statement following the passage of House Bill 379 which prohibits the access of certain social media applications, like TikTok, from being accessed on public school devices in K-12 classrooms.
If signed by the governor, students in grades 6 through 12 would be required to receive instruction on the social, emotional, and physical effects of social media.
The instruction would include information on the negative effects of social media on mental health, including addiction, distribution of misinformation, how social media manipulates behavior, the permanency of material shared online, predatory behavior, and human trafficking.
“TikTok is nothing more than digital fentanyl and has no place in Florida’s schools, CFO Jimmy Patronis said. “It rots our children’s brains and distracts them from learning.
Patronis claimed it also poses a “major security risk” to Floridians and state-run educational institutions.
“Left unchecked, social media can be a real threat, and we cannot allow it to continue to target Florida’s youth,” Patronis added.
The bill now heads to the governor’s desk where, if signed, it would take effect on July 1, 2023.