Social Media Ban for Florida Students at School Under New Bill by Governor DeSantis!!!

Governor Ron DeSantis signed an education bill on Tuesday that prohibits students from using cell phones during class time and restricts the use of the social media platform TikTok on school grounds, stating that social media causes “more harm than good.”

In addition, DeSantis signed legislation establishing a “Teachers’ Bill of Rights” and mandating term limits of eight years for school board members. The social media measure (HB 379) prohibits the use of TikTok on school district-owned devices and through district-provided internet access.

On Monday, the governor signed a second bill that restricts access to TikTok on state-owned wireless networks. The new laws are enacted in the midst of a national debate over security concerns related to the app’s Chinese ownership.

“We are also making sure that things like TikTok, which is monitored by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), that it’s not something that they are being able to use district servers or Wi-Fi to be able to access,” DeSantis said on Tuesday at a Miami charter school where he signed the education legislation.

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Citizens took matters of social media to social media which you may read as the link to one such tweet given below:

In July, the law will prohibit pupils from using cell phones and other wireless devices during “instructional time.” Under the measure, mobile phones could not be used during class unless “expressly directed by a teacher solely for educational purposes.”

Additionally, teachers will be instructed to designate areas for the devices during class time. DeSantis characterized the social media regulation as “restricting the use” of technology in schools.

DeSantis stated,

“Being normal kids, like kids were prior to social media, is important. The social media (causes) more problems than it solves, and I think it causes more harm than good. So, let’s have our education system be as much about traditional education as we can.”

Another bill signed on Tuesday (HB 1035) outlines instructors’ rights, including the right to “control and discipline” students.

The law says that teachers, “except in cases of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment, may not be held civilly or criminally liable for actions carried out in conformity with State Board of Education rules.”

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In addition, the measure includes a procedure for instructors to contest certain directives from school districts or school administrators. Teachers who are directed to violate state law or State Board of Education regulations may petition the state education commissioner to appoint special magistrates to handle such disputes, with districts bearing the bill.

Social Media Ban for Florida Students at School
Social Media Ban for Florida Students at School

In turn, the magistrates would suggest a “decision for resolution” to the state commission. The salaries of district superintendents in districts found in violation of laws or state board rules would be withheld “until the violation is corrected.”

At Tuesday’s bill-signing ceremony, State Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. told the audience that he is “extremely excited” to implement the changes signed by the governor.

Diaz said:

“Teachers should walk into the classroom every day knowing that they are respected, and if they have to intervene, not be worried about their jobs to keep the safety of their kids. And also, (they should) be able to comply with state laws without having a rogue school board or administration trying to get back at them.” 

DeSantis, who has clashed with some school boards over issues such as COVID-19 mask requirements, stated that the measure would ensure that instructors are “protected.”

You can also click to listen to the video of DeSantis where he also said:

“If all they (teachers) are doing is following state law, then they are protected. What happens is sometimes there is a school board, or an administrator or superintendent who doesn’t like something the state of Florida has done. They may not want their teachers to follow that. Well, that’s not the way this system works.”

Under a second law signed by the governor, the terms of school board members in Florida will be reduced. The legislation (HB 477) will impose eight-year term limits after lawmakers and DeSantis approved a 12-year term limit measure last year.

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According to the governor’s office, the shorter terms will bring school boards in line with the governor, Cabinet, and entire Legislature.

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