Parent Alert to Internet Scare

February 28, 2019

Dear Parents,

I am sharing some information with you to help continue to keep our children safe. I encourage you to monitor your children’s social media as there is a dangerous social media phenomenon called the “Momo Challenge.” Please use this as an opportunity to remind your children not to accept any invitation to play from an unknown number and not to click on unidentified links. Click here to see an article and video about this matter.

The Momo Challenge can be found on Whats App (a free smartphone messaging application) and on Facebook. This is just one example of dangerous “games” on social media. This “challenge” involves a frightening avatar making contact with a child from an unknown number or name. The child is asked to perform various actions and tasks, and provide photos as proof. Some tasks have even led to suicide.

There is one confirmed death of a 12 year old girl in Argentina, and three deaths currently under investigation in connection with the challenge. Students as young as first-graders have allegedly acted on some directions from the challenge. One of the first clues for parents to be concerned with is the image of a Japanese statue of a woman with bulging eyes and scary features. Children are given the series of tasks to finally meet the “Momo.” Remind your children to change email and social media passwords frequently and block unknown numbers inviting them to play immediately. This image is also popping up on videos played on You Tube. Peppa Pig and other preschool You Tube videos have been targeted. If you wish to show your child these videos go into the direct PBS site.

Please notify Mrs. Stokes, Ms. Brunkhorst and me of any attempted contacts to your children. This form of cyber-bullying is spreading through social media and cell phone. While these digital venues are blocked on school-issued devices, individuals may still be able to access such sites through their personal devices and accounts.

I feel it is important to share information to help build awareness and keep our children safe.
Please contact me if you have any further concerns.

Mrs. Conlan