Date: February 28, 2019
To: Families and Staff
From: Dr. Michael Dunsmore
Subject: Response to Social Media Warnings
In recent years, Wayne County Public Schools has heard many reports on the news and from parents and staff about viral hoaxes and warnings being passed along through social media. The latest social media warnings causing concern for some families across the nation involve what is being called the “Momo Challenge.” While it is being reported as a viral hoax, the “warning” being spread is that a disturbing puppet-like woman is appearing within online videos challenging children to participate in a series of tasks that may escalate to violence or self-harm.
Because images of the character appearing in the “Momo Challenge” are easily accessible online, and being circulated with local and national news stories, I wanted to reassure our families of the following:
- Hoax or not, Wayne County Public Schools takes any challenge which encourages a child to hurt themselves seriously.
- Wayne County Public Schools has been in communication with local law enforcement to express its concerns about the social media warnings and their impact on families and children.
- In accordance with Board policy, our teachers are being reminded to review any videos being shown in the classroom prior to any students watching them.
In light of the social media warnings, news reports, and online images, it is highly probable that your child will see or hear something at some point about the “Momo Challenge.” I would encourage you to monitor your child's social media and online activity, talk with them about the seriousness of what they may be seeing, and to always report anything suspicious or inappropriate.