BRICK – The Brick Township School District sent out a message to parents to monitor their children’s social media for instances of the “Momo Challenge” which has been linked to violence and suicide in other parts of the world.
This challenge is spread through social media such as Facebook or WhatsApp. According to the district, the “challenges” begin with telling the child to do small tasks but then escalates into violent acts, with requests for photographic proof of the act performed.
“The “Momo Challenge” is just one example of dangerous “games” through social media that has a negative impact on students and their social interactions,” the message from the district said. “Here in the schools and for you at home, it continues to be challenging to monitor and address the ever developing and changing topics related to social media. We must consider common sense guidelines, age appropriateness and exposure from older siblings or neighbors.”
The district promised to address the issue with parents, and have counselors available. Officials urged parents to reach out to them if they have any concerns, either by calling or by using the WeTip.com link affiliated with the district.
The district also warned parents to think of the age appropriateness of devices that may be given as gifts this holiday season, with the knowledge that phones and tablets open the gateway to a lot of content that might be harmful.
In 2019, the district, police, and Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office will be offering a program to instruct parents about this issue.
In the meantime, the district shared these links to educate parents about the “Momo Challenge,” warning that some of the images and stories are disturbing:
These sites were also shared to offer advice about social media in general: