Bonta Pushes for Parental Consent on Social Media but Not in Schools
State Senator Nancy Skinner and Assembly Member Buffy Wicks (who both represent Oakland, fyi) stood alongside Attorney General Rob Bonta on Monday to talk about the ways social media companies exploit the developing adolescent mind.
Which is true. A study from a decade ago published by the German Medical Association noted that adolescent brains have “a not yet fully mature prefrontal control system” and “in adolescence, a fundamental reorganization of the brain takes place that continues into the beginning of the third decade of life.”
Last year, a UNC-Chapel Hill study showed that frequent use of social media could actually be reshaping their neural pathways; i.e., checking Facebook often led to a rewiring of their brains. (They’re kids!)
Skinner and Wicks have introduced legislation (SB 976 and AB 1949) to protect minors from social media companies. Their solution? Parental consent.
Seriously. Under SB 976, a kid couldn’t join Facebook or Tik Tok unless the social media company first obtained “verifiable parental consent.” Which, while I like the idea of my controlling my kids’ access to social media, is probably unworkable as a law.
But the workability of this law isn’t the real, glaring issue in this story. Not one of those three elected officials actually trust parents.
I mean, the chutzpah for Rob Bonta is unreal. He’s using his state power to sue the Chino Valley Unified School District to stop a policy that requires schools to inform parents if their child requests to use a different name or use a different gendered pronoun.
In other words, he wants a kid to get parent consent before joining Instagram, but not before changing gender.
What else can minors do without getting parent consent in CA? Well, they can obtain birth control or schedule an abortion or get outpatient mental health treatment and counseling. And on and on.
So, let’s quickly recap. Here in CA, your kids could soon need your permission to have a Snapchat account. Which they could then scroll through on their phones while waiting for life-altering surgery without your consent.
Article was originally posted here.
Will O’Neill, Mayor of Newport Beach