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HEARNE WEATHER
Parent/guardian alert: What is the Momo Challenge?
We wanted to alert teachers & parents to a disturbing trend that has resurfaced on social media recently that targets children and young adults. It’s called the “Momo Challenge.” The challenge first popped up many months ago across the country, and causes concern for both parents and schools.

The “Momo Challenge” uses a grotesque avatar to encourage children to commit increasingly dangerous and potentially violent acts through social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp, and video games like Minecraft. Often these messages come from unknown numbers and accounts. If children refuse, the avatar threatens to leak personal information, often leaves disturbing messages, and sends violent images.

Some students in our district have already been talking about the Momo Challenge, however, no students have been reported to participate at this time. Please discourage students from talking about and participating in the Momo Challenge, and educate them about this being an internet hoax targeted at hurting children. We feel it is important to keep teachers and parents aware in order to keep our children safe. Our administration and staff work closely with our technology department to teach our students good digital citizenship while they are in school. And we encourage all parents to have a discussion about cyber safety at home.

Below are a few resources for teachers and parents looking to learn more. Please be aware that some of the images in these articles may be unsettling.

This first article has several tips for parents on how to talk with their children about the challenge: https://www.parents.com/news/parents-warned-about-the-momo-challenge-a-dangerous-new-form-of-cyberbullying/

And we’ve also linked you to New York State’s cyber safety resources for children: https://its.ny.gov/keeping-kids-safe

If you have questions or concerns about your student’s online activities, please reach out to your child’s principal and/or school counselor.