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52 West Main Street
Washingtonville, NY 10992

Phone: 845.497.4000
Fax: 845.497.4030
Important Announcement on Internet Safety

Dear Washingtonville Central School District Families,

Since we can never be too careful when it comes to the safety and well-being of our children, I would like to share information with you 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.

What can parents do? Here are some tips from our Director of Technology, Joe Catania: 

  • Consider asking your children if they have ever heard of this type of online challenge and discuss the dangers.

  • Remind children that “Momo” is not a fictional character but rather a real person with negative intentions.

  • Teach your children to never communicate with strangers on social media and to never share personal information online.

  • Remind your children that they can always talk to you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable on social media.

  • Learn about viral social media challenges before your children so that you can help keep them safe.

  • Encourage your children to only use social media as a tool to improve their digital footprint and have fun with friends (in a safe way).

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, I encourage you to immediately contact your child’s building administrator.

Together, we can keep our children safe.

Thank you,

Roy Reese

Superintendent of Schools

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52 West Main Street Washingtonville, NY 10992  |  Phone: 845.497.4000  |  Fax: 845.497.4030
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