Parents Unite Congress To Takes Action After Children Die from Drugs Sold On Snapchat
By Movieguide® Staff
Every once in a while, Democrats and Republicans in Congress can unite over legislation to protect the most vulnerable.
After several reports revealed that children died from drugs purchased over the social media app Snapchat, parents encouraged Congress to take legislative action.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., recently penned a new law called Sammy’s Law or the Let Parents Choose Protection Act, allowing parents to track their kids online through third-party software.
The bill’s name is based on a real-life victim named Sammy Chapman, who died in 2021 at the age of 16 after receiving fentanyl-laced drugs from a drug dealer on Snapchat.
Movieguide® previously reported:
OWN TV host Dr. Laura Berman announced her 16-year-old son’s death on Feb. 7 due to an apparent overdose from drugs obtained through the social media app Snapchat.
“My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old. Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentanyl laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell) and he overdosed in his room,” Berman wrote on Instagram.
Berman shared the tragic news via Instagram and warned parents of the dangers of how children use social media during COVID-19-related isolation.
“My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing,” Berman said. “I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house.
“Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them,” Berman added.
Samuel’s father highlighted the need for big tech to take ownership and bring to justice the people using their platform taking advantage of people.
“I think that if social media wants to pretend to be responsible, this is a great place for them to change their behavior,” he told NBC News. “The big tech is not taking responsibility for helping the police find the dealer.”
Unfortunately, Sammy is not a solo case.
However, as Congress fights to hold tech companies accountable, more laws are taking effect to protect children.
Sammy’s Law would join two other bills, the Combating Harmful Actions with Transparency on Social Act and the Kids Online Safety Act.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. said of the CHATS Act: “This new information will be a valuable tool in our fight against online crimes, including cracking down on drug dealers using social media to prey on our kids.”
Marc Berkman, CEO of the Organization for Social Media Safety, added that lawmakers are taking an essential step for the safety of children.
“We’re seeing more and more cases where children have been severely harmed, but also potentially millions of cases with some level of harm among children,” he said. “So the public awareness has reached a certain point where we’re finally seeing legislative action again at all levels of government.”
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