As you may have read in recent national newspapers, the police have been in contact with schools regarding a dangerous new game being played on social media. The Blue Whale game originated in Russia and is now spreading across Europe. The game is played online and spreads through social media. Players are appointed a “master/teacher” and these “masters/teachers” issue progressively more dangerous challenges to players in stages. As the game goes on the players are directed to self-harm and the final challenge is to commit suicide. All these actions have to be filmed and shared via social media to the so called “master/teacher”. The game is being targeted at children of all ages, some as young as primary age, but predominantly at teenagers.
Warning signs to look out for may include:
- Self-Harm, in particular any designs resembling a Blue Whale scratched onto the skin
- The young person taking photos of their self-harm marks and objects used, and pictures taken of themselves at height
- The young person setting alarms for the very early hours of the morning to watch scary/psychedelic movies
- The young person leaving the house in the early hours of the morning
- The young person frequenting high buildings, bridges or railway lines
The safety of your child is imperative to us as a school, and we hope that you will find this communication helpful in raising awareness. Please talk to your children and remind them to tell you about any games or messages on social media they are concerned about. Most children are happy to talk to adults as they can become very worried for themselves and others.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre provides advice and guidance for everyone regarding e-safety on their website www.thinkuknow.co.uk. Parents can also report abuse of children to CEOP (www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report).
If you have any concerns regarding this ‘game’ or with any aspect of keeping children safe then please contact your child’s teacher or you can contact Childline on 0800 1111.