Valley Central School District
944 State Route 17k
Montgomery, NY 12549-2240
TELEPHONE: (845) 457-2400 Ext. 18885
FAX: (845) 457-4254
OFFICE OF THE
Assistant Superintendent Michael Bellarosa
February 28, 2019
Dear Valley Central School District Families,
I would like to share information from a letter by Roy Reese, Superintendent of the Washingtonville School District that pertains to information about rumors of a very disturbing online game called the Momo Challenge and encourage you to talk with your children about Internet Safety.
The Momo Challenge is reportedly being spread through Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp platforms. The “game” entices students to complete various daily tasks and submit photos proving they have accomplished them. The danger level of the daily challenges is rumored to escalate as the game progresses and includes harming oneself and others. After starting the challenge, game administrators supposedly blackmail and cyber-bully players into continuing, threatening them with exposure of personal information. It is believed that the game culminates with a task directing players to kill themselves. You can learn more about this terrible challenge here: https://bit.ly/2T8vkRJ
Some have questioned whether the Momo Challenge is real or the latest Internet hoax, however, multiple law enforcement agencies and schools are taking it seriously enough to issue warnings. Below are some rules to reinforce at home for your child to follow to help with internet safety.
- Keep your personal information safe and secret. Think carefully before you share a photo of yourself or your friends
- Do not accept a friend request from anyone you do not know.
- Never arrange to meet an online friend because it can be very dangerous. No matter how well you think you know people, it is possible to pretend to be anyone on the internet.
- If you receive junk mail or spam or messages that make you feel uncomfortable, tell an adult that you trust and do not reply to them.
- Always remember that sometimes people might say or write things which are untrue on the internet so do not trust everything you see or hear.
- Most of the time on line is fun but if you see anything that makes you feel worried or uncomfortable tell and adult that you trust immediately.
Finally, the best way to keep your children safe online is to be aware of what sites they are visiting and who they are communicating with. It is okay to take steps to make sure they are interacting with people you know and doing so in a way that’s healthy.
Thank you for your attention to this concerning matter. If you have any concerns that your child or their peers have shown an interest in this challenge or in any dangerous behaviors that would lead to harming oneself, please do contact your child’s building administrator as soon as possible.
Together, we can keep our children safe.