Haverhill Superintendent Warns Parents of Viral ‘Momo Challenge’ Targeting Kids

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

Haverhill Public Schools officials are aware of the now-viral “momo challenge” making the rounds on YouTube and social media, with Superintendent Margaret Marotta telling parents this week the district is renewing measures to encourage online safety.

In her letter to parents, Marotta discussed the challenge—in which a character pops up harmless programs like cartoons and suggests self-harm—and is fully aware “children in Haverhill are frightened” by the message. YouTube and Whatsapp, two places online where content is said to be included, have denied such material exists. Unverified reports suggest the momo figure—a woman with bulging eyes—has appeared in videos featuring popular kid-friendly character Peppa Pig.

“Our staff is aware of this trending issue and we are working to ensure your children will not be exposed to any reference to this disturbing challenge in school,” Marotta said. “Throughout our school district, there are many security measures in place to keep students safe while using the district’s technology devices.”

Access to sites deemed dangerous or questionable is restricted by children using school-owned technology devices, Marotta said.

The education chief encouraged parents to talk to their children about the social media challenge and turn the potentially frightening incident into a teachable moment.

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