Sununu seeks K-12 curriculum on social media dangers

By HOLLY RAMER

Associated Press

Published: 06-08-2023 7:00 PM

Gov. Chris Sununu has ordered state agencies to develop curriculum that would add instruction about the dangers of social media to all K-12 health classes in New Hampshire.

The executive order issued by the Republican governor Wednesday instructs the departments of education and health and human services to create guidelines for a curriculum to be submitted to the state Board of Education within 90 days.

Sununu said the order was based on an investigation by the attorney general that began in late 2021 into the harmful effect that social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram can have on children’s mental health.

“New Hampshire’s children are the future of our state and our nation, and we are making every effort to ensure necessary changes are made to prevent harm by these platforms,” he said in a statement.

The order also requires the establishment of a website within 60 days to provide parents, youth and others with information about the potential harmful effects of social media and suggestions for how to reduce the time children spend using it. It also directs state agencies to develop a media campaign with similar information within 30 days.

Sununu’s order comes two weeks after the U.S. surgeon general issued a report calling on policymakers to address the harms of social media the same way they regulate things like car seats, baby formula, medication and other products children use.

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Warning there is not enough evidence to show that social media is safe for children and teens, Dr. Vivek Murthy also is urging tech companies to share data and increase transparency with researchers and the public and prioritize users’ health and safety when designing their products.

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