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Racine school officials warn parents about Momo Challenge

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-19 14:28:12-05

RACINE — Racine Unified officials are warning parents about the dangers of the Momo Challenge, a social media challenge that encourages people to harm themselves.

On Thursday night, the school district sent a phone message warning parents about the “so called” challenge.

The Momo Challenge starts by commanding the receiver to perform small tasks and quickly "escalates to more serious violent acts and request photographs for proof.” In the end, the challenge calls for self-harm and suicide.

“We just want parents to be aware that if they hear the Momo Challenge come up or hear about it or see their kids texting to know that it is something serious,” Stacy Tapp of the Racine Unified School District said Friday.

School officials say, to their knowledge, no students have participated in the challenge, but they have heard chatter about it. Now the district is informing parents to be aware of the dangerous game and talk to their children.

According to psychologist Casey Holtz, it is best to have an open dialogue about serious topics such as dangerous games or online activities.

“Cultivating a healthy relationship where you could at the dinner table ask, ‘What are they learning online?’ “ Holtz said.

Parents also should be aware of warning signs such as changes in behavior, social withdrawal, sleeping or eating changes, and negative self-talk that Holtz says could be a sign of depression.