tiktok challenge

State Leaders, New Britain School Staff, Parents and Students Host Emergency Summit For Social Media Trends

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Dangerous social media trends inside schools led the conversation among New Britain school leaders, Attorney General William Tong, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, parents and students.

The emergency summit is in response to some of the recent TikTok challenges happening inside New Britain schools and schools around the state.

Students along with parents voiced their concerns Thursday about how social media platforms have altered the educational experience.

"I believe Congress should bring more legislation to stop this monopoly of the internet basically," said Bryan Ortiz, a senior at New Britain High School. "I thought it was a crazy thing and I never thought this would be able to happen inside my school."

New Britain parents along with students sit and listen to state leaders discuss the recent TikTok challenges.

At the start of the school year, New Britain High School and some other schools around the state saw students take part in some of the dangerous TikTok challenges.

These challenges resulted in students vandalizing school property.

"The disruption in bathrooms, the challenges, the destructive content on TikTok we believe should simply be eliminated," said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal, along with Connecticut's Attorney General William Tong, both discussed the ways in which they want to cut down on the harmful content affecting teenagers and in some cases younger children.

"We at the Attorney General's Office have initiated our own investigations and legal actions," said Tong. "We are focused on holding these Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and other platforms accountable."

One of the many parents a part of the discussion was Kristen Giantonio who is the president of New Britain High School's PTO.

"I think we need to be focusing and starting control because some of the kids don't have the people at home maybe that are there watching them," said Giantonio. "Some of these parents don't even know what they should be looking at and how to control it."

It's not just parents and state leaders who believe the platforms should have additional oversight, but students and school administrators, too.

"We really need to take out all of the negatives and just put in all of the positives because if you're only on social media to bring someone down, then why are you there?," said Michael Cordero, a junior at New Britain High School. "What we have to talk about is how are we all going to come together to solve the problems in the community because we're just a microcosm of our community," said New Britain Public School Superintendent, Nancy Sarra.

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