Teen Social Media and Internet Safety Act


An act to require public schools to adopt social media and internet safety training; an act to require the State of [Insert State Name] Department of Education OR State of [Insert State Name] Board of Education to adopt an internet safety policy.

Teen Social Media and Internet Safety Act

(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, the words defined in this section have the meaning given.

(a) “Internet” means the combination of computer facilities and electromagnetic transmission media, and related equipment and software, comprising the interconnected worldwide network of computer networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol or any successor protocol to transmit information.

(b) “Social Media” means a form of interactive electronic communication through an Internet website or application by which a user creates a service-specific identifying user profile to connect with other users of the Internet website or application for the purpose of communicating and sharing information, ideas, news, stories, opinions, images, videos, and other content.

(c) “The Department” means The State of [State Name] Department of Education or State of [State Name] Board of Education.

(d) “School District” means a political subdivision of this state with geographic boundaries organized for the purpose of the administration, support, and maintenance of public schools.


(2) Addition of Social Media to School Curriculum

(a) The Department shall prepare and offer a curriculum, including instructional materials, for the instruction of social media safety for students in grades 6 through 12. Such instructional materials must be published on the department’s and each school district’s websites. Each school district must notify parents or guardians that such instructional materials are available on the department’s and school district’s websites.

(b) The Department shall periodically update its curriculum to reflect changes in social media use, emergent technologies, and new threats to teens using social media platforms.


(3) Requirements of Social Media Instruction

(a) The social media instruction must include, but need not be limited to, time management and healthy behaviors on social media; the negative effects of social media on mental health, including addiction; the distribution of information on social media; how social media manipulates behavior; the permanency of sharing materials online; how to maintain personal security and identify cyberbullying, predatory behavior, and human trafficking on the Internet; and how to report suspicious behavior encountered on the Internet to appropriate authorities.

(b) The social media safety instruction must include how to safely use social media, including, but not limited to, maintaining personal security, preventing oversharing of personal information, identifying predatory behavior, and reporting suspicious behavior.

(c) The social media safety instruction may include the benefits of social media use. Such instruction may only include career and resume building for future academic or employment opportunities, sharing information with familiar family and friends, and safely connecting with other users with like interests.

(d) The Department shall adopt rules to administer this section.

(e)  Parents or guardians shall be given the ability to opt their child out of such instruction.


(4) Requirement of Internet Safety Policy

(a) The Department and School Districts shall prohibit student access to social media platforms through the use of Internet access provided by the school district, except when expressly directed by a teacher solely for educational purposes.

(b) The Department and school districts shall provide and adopt an Internet safety policy for student access to the Internet provided by the school district which:

(i) Limits access by students to only age-appropriate subject matter and materials on the Internet.

(ii) Protects the safety and security of students when using e-mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.

(iii) Prohibits access by students to data or information, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful online activities by students.

(iv) Prevents access to websites, web applications, or software that does not protect against the disclosure, use, or dissemination of students’ personal information.

(c) The Department shall adopt rules to administer this section.