As you know, today’s students have access to a multitude of educational technologies that allow them to expand upon their learning. However, despite their many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potentially harmful influences that may also accompany such advancements.

Most recently, the district was made aware of an online challenge referred to as the “Momo Challenge.” This “game” has been discovered on various electronic outlets.            

The game targets young adults and children as they are navigating sites such as YouTube and YouTube Kids.  Pop-up videos involving a character called Momo interrupt age-appropriate games. Momo encourages viewers to participate in a game by texting a number into an app and then completing a series of bizarre and dangerous tasks that are texted back to them.            

The longer the viewer “plays” with Momo, the challenges increase in frequency, severity and danger. It has been reported that the final challenge includes the horrifying directive to take one’s own life.            

To date, there have been no reports of a Lindenhurst student participating in such activity. I feel, however, that in our effort to ensure the safety of our students, it is imperative to inform the community of the challenge, which has been garnering the attention of schools and parents on a regional and national level.              

As always, the district remains committed to providing students with information about the dangers such behaviors and programs can have, while also promoting ways to proactively stay safe online. Additionally, the Internet filtering services, in district, aim to block access to such sites on district devices.            

I encourage you to take time to speak with your child on this topic and remind you of the importance to remain vigilant to your child’s technological activity and know what sites they are visiting and the apps they are downloading.            

Thank you for your continued partnership in education.