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Attention Parents & Caregivers:  Student Safety & Recent Internet Challenges
Attention Parents & Caregivers: Student Safety & Recent Internet Challenges
Brad Ritchey
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Please Note:  A slightly edited version of the following information in letter form will be sent home with Milton-Union Elementary School students on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 27, 2019.  Loretta Henderson, MUES Principal, also plans to send an audio message to draw parent/guardian attention to the letter due to the importance of the information.   

Although first reported a few years ago by the national media, a disturbing and violent Internet challenge has recently resurfaced.  Because it targets children, you may have heard the “Momo Challenge” discussed in the national media encouraging young people to commit acts of self-harm.  The “challenge” asks the user to add and contact someone named "Momo," followed by a series of frightening images and violent messages encouraging self-harm and suicide.  The image of what appears to be a female with disturbing features has been associated with the challenge.  The challenge seems to be spreading across social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook but has also been seen on YouTube in videos directed towards younger children (i.e., Peppa Pig, Fortnite, and Mindcraft).   

We hope to inform parents, guardians, and caregivers since younger children seem to be particularly susceptible and targeted through messaging.  The school also hopes to provide additional resources for parents and caregivers to learn more.  First, you may choose to visit a recent article posted on the FOX News Cleveland affiliate website.  From a local perspective, Dr. Gregory Ramey, Child Psychologist with Dayton Children’s Hospital, plans to address this disturbing issue through a special Facebook LIVE presentation on February 28, 2019 beginning at 9:10 a.m.  The Facebook LIVE event deals with the specific issue of suicidal and violent messaging hidden within YouTube videos.   

The Milton-Union Schools plans to address the issue of Internet Safety during an upcoming Parent Engagement Session on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Media Center.  Deputy Warren Edmondson will facilitate the session and will also address these recent developments.  If you have additional questions, please call building main offices to speak with an administrator or school counselor.  You may also contact the Board of Education Office with questions and comments.