Since 2008, Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) has brought together local and national experts, through the Leading Minds symposium, with the purpose of engaging in a discussion of current issues affecting Baltimore City students, in order to influence policy and improve K-12 education.

Leading Minds attempts to challenge conventional wisdom through hard conversations that consider the complexity of education policy and prioritize lasting solutions over quick fixes. 

2024 Leading Minds Panel Discussion

Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Students’ Mental Health and Academic Outcomes

Friday, January 26, 2024

Pimlico Elementary/Middle School

4849 Pimlico Road, Baltimore 21215


 “A child’s mental health and emotional development help determine how they

    will see and cope with the world around them, and an addiction to social

media disrupts that critical development.”

Attorney General Brown



The mental health crisis among students, exacerbated by social media, is a growing concern. Increased social media usage has been associated with several negative impacts on students’ mental well-being. Common issues include:

  1. Cyberbullying: Social media platforms can be breeding grounds for cyberbullying, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression among students.
  2. Social Comparison: Students often compare their lives to curated and idealized versions presented on social media. This can contribute to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and a sense of social isolation.
  3. Addictive Features: Social media platforms are designed with features such as infinite scrolling and constant notifications, contributing to addiction-like behaviors. This can interfere with sleep, focus on academic tasks, and overall well-being.
  4. Image Pressure: The pressure to maintain a certain image or lifestyle on social media can create stress and anxiety among students, impacting their mental health.
  5. Negative Influences: Exposure to negative content, including cyberbullying, self-harm, or discussions about mental health issues, can further contribute to students’ mental health challenges.

Addressing the mental health crisis among students requires a comprehensive approach involving educational institutions, parents, mental health professionals, and social media platforms.

Our panel of experts will explore how initiatives to promote digital literacy, encourage open communication about mental health, and implement responsible social media use guidelines can help mitigate the negative impact of social media on students’ mental well-being.

Josh Civin

Joshua Civin

Chief Legal Officer
Baltimore City Public Schools
Michael Lucas

Michael Lucas

Assistant Principal
Hampstead Hill Academy
Lachond Carter

Lachond Carter

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Frederick Elementary
Lachond Carter

Aria ​Cannizzaro

8th grade student
Hampstead Hill Academy
Jayne Miller

Jayne Miller, a long-time investigative reporter for WBAL-TV, will moderate the discussion.


Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown recently announced that Maryland, along with dozens of states across the country, filed a lawsuit against Meta. The lawsuit accuses Meta of intentionally implementing harmful features that make its products and platforms addictive for children.  Those features include infinite scrolling and ‘near-constant’ alerts, according to the attorney general. The lawsuit also claims the impacts on young people include anxiety, depression, stress and even the contemplation of suicide. To learn more about Maryland’s lawsuit against Meta, please see Attorney General Brown’s Press Release on Oct 24, 2023 and the related news articles below.



7:30-8:00 Breakfast

8:00-8:15 Brenda Kahn Award

8:15-10:45- Leading Minds Symposium 

10:45-11:00 Break

11:00-12:30 Small Group Session 1 

12:30- 1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:00 Small Group Session 2 

Read The Program

Afternoon break-out sessions will be connected or related to the overarching theme of the symposium. Topics include sessions on exploring how artificial intelligence (AI) may impact content knowledge acquisition; exploring the scope and impact of cyber-bullying; and, leveraging the benefits of students’ social media engagement in planning for instruction.

About the Baltimore Curriculum Project

Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) is the largest operator of local neighborhood, public charter schools in Maryland. We create safe, supportive learning environments for children PK-8 by providing innovative, research-based educational strategies, intensive teacher training and extensive support for administration and staff. We support our local neighborhood needs by tailoring our resources and support through community partnerships.

As one of the longest-running charter operators in Maryland, our schools are regularly recognized as some of the most highly acclaimed neighborhood charter schools in the state. 

Pimlico Elementary / Middle School

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2707 E. Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Fax: 410-675-7030

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