Return to Headlines

3/1/19 - Message from Assistant Superintendent David Russo

March 1, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As you may already know, warnings about the "MoMo Challenge" have gone viral on social media and in the news. This is described as an online challenge in which a fictitious character (MoMo) randomly appears in seemingly innocent videos such as Peppa Pig, Fortnite, and other topics on sites such as YouTube, YouTube Kids, and attempts to convince participants to engage in acts of self-harm up to, and including, suicide. Although the authenticity of this has been subject to question, we nonetheless want to communicate with you regarding this matter. As a District, we remain committed to the safety of our students and want to both make you aware of this and provide you with resources to assist with helping keep your children safe.

Our regional internet provider continually works to block inappropriate content at area school districts, including Whitesboro CSD. Our instructional staff is aware that content such as the "MoMo Challenge" could be injected into any video, and remain vigilant in reviewing video content that they share with their students in the classroom. In addition, the staff has been alerted and asked to monitor students carefully when using district-provided information technology devices at school. As always, we encourage you to have age-appropriate conversations with your children and to also monitor your child's use of personal electronic devices and the internet.

A helpful parent resource listed on the previously distributed Whitesboro Central School District Parent Resources (blue card), http://www.commonsensemedia.org. is a valuable website which provides tips for parent concerns regarding social media safety and family guides for appropriate use of media in school and at home. A particular article specific to this topic, titled, "13 Online Challenges Your Kid Already Knows About - From the Momo Challenge to the Mannequin Challenge, internet stunts can be funny — or completely frightening — for kids," can be found at the URL below. If you have additional questions or need help talking with your child about these topics, please contact your child's principal or social worker.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/viral-youtube-challenges-internet-stunts-popular-with-kids

 

Sincerely,

David Russo

Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Accountability