It has come to the attention of Lake Travis ISD officials that a social media challenge directed at children and young adults called the “Momo Challenge” is cause for concern for school districts across the country. It is important that parents become aware of this challenge and monitor their children’s use of social media and the internet.
The “Momo Challenge” is a game which is very disturbing in nature. It can be found on Facebook and/or through the “WhatsApp” messaging app. Participants voluntarily text their mobile number to the Momo character. The Momo character will then respond claiming it knows the participant’s secrets and will release them along with the participant’s photograph unless the participant performs certain tasks or challenges. Initially, the tasks are small but then escalate to more aggressive and serious violent acts including self-harm and suicide. Participants are then asked to submit photographs to prove the challenges have been completed.
The “Momo Challenge” is one example of dangerous content available through social media and the internet that has a negative impact on students. LTISD’s Technology and Information Systems Services department has safeguards in place to restrict access to inappropriate websites and related content through its own filters and firewalls. However, students may be able to access the “Momo Challenge” on cellular devices via “WhatsApp” which the District cannot filter because such access is delivered by the cellular provider’s network. Rest assured, LTISD teachers and staff continue to educate students on digital citizenship, common sense guidelines, age appropriateness and potential exposure from older siblings or neighbors. Students are encouraged to contact their school counselor or visit the “Cavs Who Care Tip Line” on our district app or campus websites with any questions or concerns regarding the “Momo Challenge” or other social media/internet threat.
As the holidays rapidly approach, many of our students will have more screen time on electronic devices or receive them as gifts. District officials ask parents to please consider age appropriateness for their children’s use of technology, time spent on social media, and overall reminders of family guidelines and expectations for making good choices.
Below are links to content that offer helpful advice: