LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – The Livingston Parish School Board is suing social media platforms TikTok and Instagram, arguing that they addict children and teens while damaging their mental health.

The school board is suing Meta Platforms, Instagram, Byte Dance and TikTok for Charter Communications and Cox Communications. The case was transferred to the Louisiana Middle District of federal court after being filed in the 21st Judicial District Court in mid-July.

“Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, with design elements that intentionally keep children engaged for as long as possible to the exclusion of all other activities their users emotionally, developmentally and physically. They lead to a condition known as ‘”‘problematic internet use,'”‘ which is associated with a range of harms, including but not limited to exposure to predators and online bullies, age-inappropriate content, damage to children’s self-esteem, and increased risk of eating disorders and even suicide,” the lawsuit says.

The district argues that it’s had to hire additional staff and train workers on how to help students having a mental health crisis.

The school board says it, “consistently diverts resources from its core educational mission to address disciplinary and mental health issues caused by Defendants,” and the “time spent addressing social media and technology issues translat[es] to an exorbitant annual cost of $939,104.64.”

The lawsuit breaks down each platform and how the district argues that minors are socially manipulated by techniques and want social validation.

Livingston Parish is not the first school board to take action against the giant social media platforms. The lawsuit says that this is only one of several filed by school districts suing over the negative impact they have on students.

The platforms have not yet responded to the federal lawsuit. On Aug. 30, the defendants that had been served asked for an extension to respond until Sept. 20. A judge has not ruled on the issue.

A lawsuit provides only one side of a civil complaint.