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California Teachers Call On Apple to Address Mental Health of Youth

California teachers call on Apple to address mental health of youth

(Article from The San Diego Union-Tribune by Abby Hamblin, Contact Reporter)

Two major investors in Apple — one the California teachers pension plan — sent a letter over the weekend saying the tech giant needs to do more to protect the mental health of teens and children using their products.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and Jana Partners, which collectively own approximately $2 billion in Apple stock, joined together to send the letter saying the company should offer parents “more choices and tools” to help them ensure that young people are using Apple products in an “optimal manner.”

“We believe that addressing this issue now will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, by creating more choices and options for your customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators and customers tomorrow,” the letter says.

The investors say they partnered with a doctor from Boston Children’s Hospital, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a psychologist at San Diego State University to review evidence that brought them to this conclusion. The letter cites research showing teachers say that as smartphones have become more prevalent, their students have become less focused on education and have more emotional and social challenges, and that teenagers that spend a lot of time on electronic devices and on social media are more likely to be depressed or suicidal than those who don’t.

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