State superintendent moves to ban TikTok on school devices

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – On Tuesday, Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley told school system leaders to remove TikTok from publicly-funded devices.

In the letter, he cites security risks as reasons for the ban.

“The safety of Louisiana’s students is the top responsibility of educators. Over the last few years,
cybersecurity has emerged as a new battlefield requiring attention.

“Presently, national security experts1 are raising alarms regarding TikTok, a video sharing application owned by a Chinese parent company. While this is a popular application, TikTok’s lack of data privacy measures are extremely concerning. For example, various reports have highlighted the lack of safeguards in place to prevent foreign governments from gaining access to private information stored on users’ mobile devices.

“Therefore, I am advising schools and school systems to immediately remove TikTok or any other
applications developed by ByteDance Limited from any publicly-funded devices. Further, I am
recommending that TikTok be eliminated as a communication outlet for school systems and schools including co-curricular clubs, extracurricular organizations, and sports teams.

“Using TikTok may create legal ramifications due to the potential release of personally identifiable student information. Further, and more importantly, we must take every precaution to safeguard student privacy today and into their futures.”

The Louisiana Department of Education ban follows one from Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, who called for the app to be banned on state department devices. Ardoin called on the governor to ban the app as well.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne issued a ban on the app on agency phones and will block the use of the app on personal phones when they are connected to the department wireless network.