In recent years, Orange County 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 creature 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, we want to reassure our families of the following:
- Hoax or not, Orange County Schools takes any challenge which encourages children to hurt themselves seriously.
- Orange County 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.
- Our Information Technology department has put in safeguards to block videos through the district network involving the Momo challenge and will continue to find new safeguards to meet the changing security needs.
In light of the social media warnings, news reports, and online images, it is possible that your child will see or hear something at some point about the “Momo Challenge.” We 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.