The school would like to bring to your attention the existence of the above named “suicide game” which is a disturbing online phenomenon originating in Russia and appears to be spreading from Eastern Europe.
It's described as a game, but the Blue Whale Challenge is far from a game. Young teens who accept the challenge are encouraged to complete a series of tasks which get more and more sinister and at the end of the game the player is urged to take their own life in order to "win."
“The player signs up to play the game and agrees to follow instructions over the course of 50 days. An administrator assigns a series of tasks (anything from cutting yourself to listening to song) that the player must accomplish. The player wins when they complete the final task, committing suicide, on the 50th day.” (Snopes.com)
We would like to alert parents and carers to the dangers of your child engaging in this distressing online trend and urge you to talk to their children about their online activity. Equally important is the need for parents to seek emotional support for those vulnerable children who may have participated in this “game”.
Go to www.getsafeonline.org for lots of useful advice and information on how to stay safe online.
The Education Authority Safeguarding site provides useful information on all aspects of safeguarding and child protection: http://www.eani.org.uk/schools/safeguarding-and-child-protection/#esafety
The local Public Protection Unit (PPU) at the PSNI have not had any reports about the “Blue Whale” challenge.
Marie Louise O’Kane
Designated Teacher for Child Protection