Educator expresses worry over Blue Whale Challenge Game

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Education Officer for Special needs within the Ministry of Education Joy-Ann Harrigan said she is worried about the online games children are playing, especially one of the latest which is linked to suicide.
Harrigan’s comment comes on the heels of the Blue Whale Challenge – a new craze on social media that has been blamed for 130 suicides in Russia.
“One of the things that concerns me is what children are finding fun these days. They are not seeing the value in conventional games so they are finding creative ways to entertain themselves,” she said.
The game encourages participants to undertake dangerous dares and self-harm, such as cutting the shape of a whale into their bodies, watching horror movies and waking up at unusual hours to listen to sad music.
“It’s sad, to me it goes back to parenting and how much parents are involved in their children’s lives and how much time parents commit to finding healthy pastimes for their children,” Harrigan told OBSERVER media.
According to Harrigan, even though Blue Whale Challenge is just a game, her advice to children would be not to give in to challenges because it comes with peer pressure.
Harrigan further stated, “If children are having any kind of difficulty or challenges in terms of school, life, family and stress they should speak to somebody instead of finding an alternative that will lead them to taking up a challenge such as Blue Whale.”
“Our generation was different but these days we have to guide our children on basically everything,” she said.
The Blue Whale Challenge is said to have originated in Russia. Principals there have also been urged to ban the game from their schools.
Director of Education Clare Browne said he is not aware of the game, nor has any report come to the Ministry of Education indicating that the game is being played at any school in Antigua & Barbuda.

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