Reports about a disturbing social media trend that is targeting children online via popular social media channels began to surface over the past week in some of our schools.
There is good reason to believe that the latest “challenge” is nothing more than an internet hoax. However, the ensuing coverage, spread, and discussion of the “challenge” via social media may still cause anxiety and stress to students.
We encourage parents to take this as an opportunity to have intentional conversations with their children about what they encounter online. These discussions could include:
• Reminding children to never contact strangers online, on any platform;
• Encouraging children to share any worries or concerns with you;
• Ensuring children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know;
• Telling children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do;
• Setting privacy systems on devices with your child as a way to have the conversation about safety.
It is also important for parents to know what children can access online. Families may want to consider:
• Setting privacy settings for all social media and gaming applications;
• Keeping video games and YouTube watching in shared family spaces;
• Setting up video game restrictions to friends only;
• Setting up “restricted” mode on YouTube for your child’s account so inappropriate content is not available to them.
If you need help finding reliable computer safety resources, please contact your school. Thank you for partnering with us to keep our students safe.