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SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE - MOMO CHALLENGE

 

Dear ETSD Community,

The Exeter Township School District has been made aware of a new form of cyberbullying that targets K-12 students. The “Momo Challenge” encourages students to commit dangerous and potentially violent acts on social media.  The Momo Challenge plays out on various forms of social media including Facebook, WhatsApp (a free messaging app that can block the identity of the sender) or gaming applications. Through text messages or social media, students receive anonymous messages from an imaginary character named Momo. Momo invites students to participate in a series of dares or self-harm and threatens violence if challenges are not completed.

As we work collectively to cultivate a culture where all students feel safe, valued, and nurtured, we wanted to make our families and broader ETSD community aware of this latest form of cyberbullying.

At the District level, we have already taken steps to put safeguards in place with district filters regarding searches of the Momo Challenge and related content on District computers, laptops and tablets. While these digital platforms are filtered on all ETSD devices, individuals may still be able to access such sites through their personal devices and accounts. Please remind your children not to accept any messages or invitations from unknown numbers and never to click on unidentified links they may be sent.

Here are a few helpful links with more information:
•    https://www.insideedition.com/school-officials-warn-parents-dangerous-momo-challenge-resurfaces-49326
•    https://wnep.com/2018/12/13/momo-challenge-a-dangerous-viral-game-prompts-warnings-to-parents/
•   
https://2j39y52a62gm1afygb3g1xbu-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MOMO-Online-Safety-Guide-for-Parents-FEB-2019.jpg
https://drive.google.com/file/d/14dnf3mFURDDQ0U2c9_XU8RPiUwyDTWIA/view?usp=sharing

If you believe your child is being cyberbullied or may be cyberbullying others, please contact your building principal to address these concerns.

Additional Resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
In the event of an immediate life-threatening situation, please contact the Exeter Police Department or 911.

Sincerely,


Dr. Robert E. Phillips
Superintendent of Schools
Exeter Township School District
610-898-9569