The Blue Whale Challenge
Published on Jul 11, 2017 09:05

July 7, 2017

 

Dear Millis Parents, Guardians, Caregivers and Community,

 

I hope all of you are enjoying some time to relax and be with family this summer!  I would like you to please be aware of a new social media app that could have serious implications. The Blue Whale Challenge is an app that instructs its participants, many of whom are preteens, to carry out increasingly dangerous tasks and self-harm over 50 days. Users are encouraged to tag friends on social media and 'challenge' them to participate in the game.

 

USA Today (May 25, 2017) reported on how this app works:  "Over the course of 50 days, an anonymous administrator assigns kids self-harm tasks. The challenges may start by asking kids to watch a scary movie and then grow increasingly dangerous to include acts like cutting. On the 50th day, the participant is supposed to commit suicide. The game can reach kids through social-media channels like Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube and texting."

 

This is very concerning because these apps are targeting a young and vulnerable population. 

 

We encourage parents to:

 

* ask your kids if there are ANY new games or popular challenges that they or their friends are hearing about or playing on social media or online

 

* search for hashtags like #BlueWhaleChallenge and/or photos of a blue whale on your kids' social media accounts.

 

This post is not meant to alarm anyone, but rather to encourage parents to be proactive in protecting their children from potential negative influences on the internet. It is essential that we, as parents, monitor our children's social media and talk with thema bout what they are seeing and doing. 

Thank you and please do have a safe and happy summer! 

 

Kind regards,

 

Nancy Gustafson, Superintendent

Millis Public Schools

245 Plain St.

Millis, MA 02054

 

Phone: 508-376-7001

Fax: 508-376-7020

 

Millis Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.  

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