Should Danbury Parents Be Concerned About the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’?
It's supposedly the latest "meme" or "game" on social media. Apparently, students in other countries have been exposed to it for the last few months. Now it may be showing up on computers and social media here in our area.
It's called the "Blue Whale Challenge," and is believed to be named after the way whales sometimes beach themselves then die. According to some reports, students in Europe and especially Russia have been exposed to the game on social media sites. Stories have even surfaced claiming that the game is responsible for up to 130 Russian teens committing suicide.
I had never heard of the game prior to writing this story, so when I learned that Danbury Superintendent, Sal Pascarella, had addressed the game with a letter to parents, obviously, I had to do a little fact checking using some fairly reliable sources.
According to snopes.com, the game, which started appearing on social media back in February, is billed as an on line suicide game and encourages players to sign up and follow specific challenges over the course of 50 days. Once you agree, an administrator assigns tasks that you must do that can range from anything from listening to a song to cutting yourself.
The player apparently can only win the game after completing the final task -- committing suicide.
Now there is no proven connection between the game and the claim that some 130 Russian teens committed suicide after playing, however the Blue Whale Groups do exist across social media platforms.
Given that information, and the fact that recently the game has been appearing on social media sites in our area, it has prompted Danbury Public Schools to take a preemptive strike. That's when Superintendent Sal Pascerella issued a letter through the Danbury Public Schools Facebook page, alerting parents of the game and the dangers involved in playing it.
Pascerella has also encouraged parents who have any information about the game or know of anyone who may be involved with the game to contact his office as soon as they can.