July 19, 2017
Dear McAuliffe Families,
We are writing to make you aware of a new social media app that could have serious implications. This new app is called the “Blue Whale Challenge.” It is a game that encourages young people to engage in increasingly dangerous tasks and self-harm over the course of 50 days, ending in suicide. Users are encouraged to tag friends on social media and “challenge” them to participate in the game. The game can reach kids through social media channels like Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, and texting.
We have not received information that any of our scholars are using this app; however, we want to encourage parents/guardians to have a conversation with children about the app. Here are some tips:
- Maintain an interest in the online activities by having an open and ongoing dialogue about social media use and internet safety.
- Ask if there are any new games of popular challenges that they or their friends are hearing about or playing on social media or online. You could also search for hashtags like #BlueWhale and or photos of a blue whale on their social media accounts.
Please contact a school counselor or school administrator if you have specific concerns.