Parents Defending Education Poll: 67% of Parents think social media negatively impacts their child

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82% are concerned with Big Tech’s influence over their child’s life

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Parents Defending Education released new polling on the issue of social media, big tech, and school policies relating to them. The findings come amid news that schools are collecting students’ personal information and sharing it with third parties, often without parental knowledge or consent.

The poll, conducted by WPAi Intelligence, sampled 822 parents and had a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.

Key findings include: 


  • 83% of parents believe it is important for schools to have a curriculum that adheres to their family values. This receives bipartisan support from 95% of Republicans and 71% of Democrats
  • 56% of parents believe it is inappropriate for schools to administer surveys to students on topics such as gender identity, sexual orientation, personal drug use, drug and alcohol use in the home, sexual activity, and racial issues.
  • Over three-fourths of parents (77%) support requiring schools to obtain permission from parents to administer these surveys. Furthermore, 77% of parents with a kid in high school support requiring permission.
  • 55% of parents are concerned about the data security of schools. A majority of parents with a postgraduate education (55%) and Democrats (54%) are not concerned.

Social Media

  • Two-thirds of parents believe social media has a negative impact on their child, including 81% of parents who voted for Trump in 2020.
  • Over four-fifths of parents (82%) are concerned with the influence Big Tech companies have on their child’s life, including 90% of parents who voted for Trump.
  • Over two-thirds of parents (68%) are not comfortable allowing their kid to use TikTok without adult supervision, including 73% of parents aged 18-34.
  • Over two-thirds of parents are aware of the Chinese Government’s access to user data through TikTok. 80% of men are aware, while only 58% of women are aware.
  • A plurality of parents (37%) agree that China is using TikTok to spy on Americans. A majority of Republican parents (57%) and 42% of Independents agree.

Nicki Neily, President and Founder of Parents Defending Education, reacted with the following statement:

“Over the past several years, the role of technology in children’s lives has become a growing concern for American parents. From intrusive surveys in the classroom to data security to social media platforms, families are deeply worried about Big Tech’s influence both inside and outside school. Parents desire more knowledge about – and control over – what their children have access to, and want policy changes that will empower them to keep them safe.”

To access the poll results, please click here.

The full poll crosstabs can be found here.