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HCS Parent/Guardian Information

Dear Henderson County School Families,

 

We have recently been made aware of a social media challenge directed at children and young adults, called the “Momo Challenge.” Many of our students and parents have been discussing this challenge.

 

Momo is a sinister ‘challenge’ that has been around for some time. It has recently resurfaced and once again has come to the attention of schools and children across the country. Momo has been heavily linked with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and most recently (and most worryingly)... YouTube Kids. The scary doll-like figure reportedly sends graphic violent images and asks users to partake in dangerous challenges like waking up at random hours and has even been associated with self-harm.

 

Tips from National Online Safety:

  •    Talk regularly with your child. As well as monitoring your child’s activity, it’s important for you to discuss it with them too. Not only will this give you an understanding of their online actions, but those honest and frequent conversations will encourage your child to feel confident to discuss issues and concerns they may have related to the online world.
  •    Be present. It’s important for you, as a parent or guardian, to be present while your children are online. This will give you a greater understanding of what they are doing on their devices, as well as providing you with the opportunity to discuss, support and stop certain activities that your child may be involved in. As the nature of each task becomes progressively worse, it’s also important to recognize any changes in your child’s behavior.
  •    Tell them it’s not real. Just like any urban legend or horror story, the concept can be quite frightening and distressing for young people. While this may seem obvious, it’s important for you to reiterate to your child that Momo is not a real person and cannot directly harm them. Also, tell your child to avoid openly searching for this content online as it may only cause more distress.

As always, the safety of our students is top priority. Henderson County Schools is taking additional precautions with internet usage; however, the best prevention is to make sure that student social media use and internet use at home and school are closely monitored. If you have any questions, or if you see anything that concerns you, please contact Henderson County Schools at 270-831-5000.

 

Sincerely,

Marganna Stanley

Superintendent

Henderson County Schools

 

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