Safety Tips For Navigating The Web

In the past few days, there has been significant media attention regarding concerns with an online game dubbed “Momo Challenge.” Reportedly, Momo targets young children through various online apps — including Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube Kids, Fortnite, and Minecraft — and encourages them to complete a series of increasingly dangerous tasks.

Although the Momo Challenge appears to be more fear than fact, it is important for parents to talk to their children about it. Additionally, given the growing national media attention regarding the Momo Challenge, experts on mental health caution that such frenzied news coverage could potentially increase interest to participate. It can also cause some students to be fearful or anxious.

Richardson ISD would like to offer some tips for navigating this potentially harmful topic:

· Ask your child whether they have seen anything online that has made them upset or worried.

· Explain that sometimes things online can be misleading and are designed to gain attention.

· Encourage them to tell a parent, counselor, or principal if they see something upsetting on a cell phone, tablet, or computer.

· Make sure your student knows that it is not okay to communicate with nor follow directions from strangers online.

Remember that curiosity is a natural part of growing up and children are often drawn to this sort of digital drama. Try to listen, keep calm, and help your child recognize the possible dangers.
 
We are unaware of any cases in Richardson ISD involving a child engaging in the Momo Challenge, but we feel it is necessary to let you know so we all can be diligent in protecting our children. Student safety is our top priority and to help our families, we have included some parent resources regarding online safety.

Three-Minute Briefing on Momo Challenge
CommonSense.org
Internet Safety Tips

Thank you for supporting RISD and please contact your school counselor or the counseling department, if you have any questions.