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House Panel Backs School Tech Requirements

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A proposal headed to the full House would place new requirements on the use of school computer devices and networks. The House Education & Employment Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the proposal (HB 379), which includes prohibiting the social-media platform TikTok from being accessed on devices owned by school districts, “or as a platform to communicate or promote any district school, school-sponsored club, extracurricular organization, or athletic team.” It also would prevent the use of district-owned devices and servers from accessing websites or applications that do not have certain “Internet safety” policies. Another part of the bill would require middle- and high-school students to receive instruction about the “social, emotional, and physical effects of social media.” Bill sponsor Brad Yeager, R-New Port Richey, pointed to increased use of social-media platforms as a reason why the bill is needed. “This rise in social-media use has shown an increase in cyberbullying, as well as multiple impacts on mental health among kids,” Yeager told the House panel.

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