OESJ reaches out to parents about the MoMo Challenge

OESJ letterhead

February 28, 2019

Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,

In the past few days we have had numerous reports of OESJ students discussing and researching a topic called “The Momo Challenge.” Although its authenticity is unproven, according to the fact finding website snopes.com, The Momo Challenge is purported to be a form of cyberbullying seen on apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube, through which children receive anonymous threatening messages tied to pictures of a grinning figure with bulging eyes.

Although this may seem bizarre or untrue, and unlikely to impact our student body, we are taking all precautions. We have currently blocked student access to YouTube and teachers and administrators are speaking with students directly. School systems across the world are alerting parents and students to the risks associated with this information. We do know that young people can be easily persuaded or influenced, and any challenge or app that may target their vulnerability and promote destructive behavior must be taken seriously.

Please educate yourself on this latest phenomenon and be prepared to answer questions your children may have. This is especially frightening for our younger students who believe their families will be harmed. Any specific questions or information should be directed to your child’s building
administrator.

It is our hope that interest in this latest phenomena disappears as quickly as it appeared.

The links below provide recent articles written on the topic.

Sincerely,

Joseph Natale signature
Joseph L. Natale
Superintendent