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Pottsville News

Why Would North Schuylkill Schools Tell Kids About Momo Challenge?

momo challenge north schuylkill school

Another day, another head-scratcher from our county schools.

This time, it’s from North Schuylkill School District. It recently presented assemblies to students on the Momo Challenge.

“What is the Momo Challenge,” you’re asking.

Talk about a head-scratcher. We’ll let this post from Coal Speaker explain it:

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Momo is terrifying because of how it is interactive and those who play are encouraged to use Facetime to contact Momo, which appears a hideous looking demonic figure, with deep set bulging eyes and an exaggerated smile – the image is based on a sculpture that was created in Japan.. The storyline was similar to the Blue Whale game of 2017 lure. Blue Whale game players faced a series of challenges, culminating in taking their own lives. In much the same way, Momo players were reportedly threatened if they don’t follow the game’s orders…

The problem here is (well, the first problem) Momo Challenge isn’t REAL. It’s a hoax.

Police worldwide link zero child deaths to Momo Challenge. And until the last few days, its heyday as a topic of conversation died off. It’s a 2017-2018 thing and it wasn’t that big of a thing. There was barely a reason to talk about it then. And there certainly wasn’t a reason to talk about it now.

But we’ve spent two or more years talking about things we didn’t need to talk about so why not another?

North Schuylkill Adults Help Spread Fear of Fake Momo Challenge

People started talking on Facebook. The media smelled the panic and ran with it. Stories popped up all over the country. Just one problem — zero kids saw Momo Challenge until “adults” showed them.

That’s just what the academics at North Schuylkill School District did. Last week, they presented assemblies to students on Momo Challenge.

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And of course, they only told parents about it AFTER they already explained it to the youngest students in the district. Students in kindergarten through 3rd grade heard the assembly on Feb. 28. Presumably the PG-13 version of the assembly waited for kids in grades 4, 5, and 6 on Friday, March 1.

After the first round of assemblies, they let parents know on Facebook Thursday afternoon.

The school wrote on Facebook (verbatim, btw):

Attention Parents/Guardians:

The North Schuylkill School District wants to make you aware of something that has been trending on the Internet, the Momo Challenge The Momo Challenge could be teaching your child how to commit suicide.

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Due to the Momo Challenge, coming back in full force, students at NSE will be having an assemblies to discuss the situation …

North Schuylkill like:

momo challenge north schuylkill school

North Schuylkill spread #FakeNews.

Momo Challenge isn’t really a thing. And it’s definitely not “back in full force”.

Media misinformation and college-educated people making street un-wise decisions … that’s what’s back in full force here.

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Some parents were pissed.

One wrote in reply to the school’s Facebook post: “My poor girls came home today completely upset and terrified so much so they refuse to go anywhere alone now. Thanks NSE for scaring them for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You need parental consent to even take their photograph or to address good touch bad touch, but yet needed no consent to show them this terrifying picture and cause a hysteria that did not need to happen.”

Another wrote the obvious: “ITS NOT ON YOUTUBE. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUTUBE. THE VIDEO IS NOT ON YOUTUBE. BRINGING MORE ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE IS ONLY PUTTING IT IN THE SPOTLIGHT FURTHER. Please do the proper research before advertising this harmful made up story.”

And yet more anger at the school. A parent says the assembly left kids in tears: “My daughter said they were crying in school. She text me saying “I’m scared and don’t know what to do”! I wish we had a heads up before they did this! Not a text after it was done!”

Another reply accused the school of fake news, too: “Please fact check and utilize critical thinking before taking uncorroborated information as gospel. All you did by addressing this with students was perpetuate internet hoaxes and needlessly scare children.”

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Others commended the school for spreading fear and panic among the most impressionable students first before telling anyone.

This is absolutely absurd. But consider the source here.

Who wrote this Facebook post for the school district?

momo challenge north schuylkill school

We don’t mean to criticize punctuation and grammar on social media posts, but this IS a school. Apologies if a student wrote the post … Blame your teachers.

The school needs to do better here. Hopefully, other schools in the area don’t follow North Schuylkill’s “lead” on this. First, do some research before you spread this kind of stuff. A little bit of digging could have turned up plenty to show this is a hoax “challenge”. Zero evidence of it.

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And finally, before you talk about these topics with kids, let parents know before you do.

Next time, just send the kids home with some Skittles and a Mountain Dew.

ALSO READ: Mahanoy Area Makes Kids Walk to School


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