He gave them a family tech agreement and encouraged them to talk to their parents about internet safety.
CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said he’s concerned about how technology is affecting young students.
Stein talked to kids at a Cleveland County elementary school, West Elementary, about using technology responsibly.
“I want you to be safe at home and we always want you to be safe on the internet,” Stein said.
Stein urged the fourth graders to talk with their parents about using the internet safely.
He handed out a “family tech agreement,” a paper to help families discuss how to use technology in a good way.
Stein said it’s important to teach kids about good online behavior when they’re young because they spend a lot of time on the internet.
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“The average middle schooler spends five, six hours a day online, the average high schooler is spending eight hours a day,” Stein said. “So, it’s important for us to talk to these elementary school students before their kind of patterns are really set.”
At Cleveland County Schools there are protocols for children to use technology and cellphones.
“We actually have a new cellphone policy where students really can’t use them unless they go through — at the high school, middle school level — unless they go through a training course,” Ryan Etheridge, the director of Project ACTIVATE at Cleveland County Schools said.
Some local school districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are even taking big companies like Facebook and TikTok to court. They said these companies hurt students’ mental health.
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Stein is also leading a team of state lawyers who are looking into social media companies all across the country.
“A bipartisan group of state attorneys general, to investigate TikTok and Instagram for their impact on young people,” Stein said. “We’ve seen all kinds of studies that show it can lead to depression, can even lead to suicide, it can lead to eating disorders, all these mental health consequences.”
Stein plans to keep talking to students in North Carolina about using the internet in a smart way.
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