Thank you for your recently published op-ed written by Illinois State PTA President Kristin Kramer regarding the new safety features of the video-sharing app TikTok. As a longtime member of the community, a father, and as a member of the Community Consolidated School District 21 Board of Education, I am pleased to see the Illinois State PTA and TikTok collaborating to provide new safety features designed to keep teens safe on the app.
I am especially excited with the decision to disable direct messages to anyone under the age of 16 and I was also delighted to learn about the new family pairing features that have rolled out recently. Family Pairing allows parents to link their TikTok accounts to their teen's account and set controls that include limiting screen time and restricting content that may not be appropriate for young people.
In this digital age, social media companies must begin to look seriously at content and their responsibility to protect children. Parents must be especially vigilant in monitoring their children's activities on all social media sites. I strongly encourage all parents of teens using the TikTok app to take advantage of these safety controls.