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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Sask. school divisions warn parents about risky social media game

Posted: 07/05/17 9:38am CST
Photo credit: Gilles Lambert

The “Blue Whale Challenge” could be an urban legend, or it could be a deadly game.

It’s allegedly a social media activity that puts people through a series of progressively risky tasks — the final being suicide.

The game is on the radar of the RCMP, and now some Saskatchewan school divisions have warned parents about it.

However, there’s no still no evidence that the game exists, at least not in Canada.

“If it is an urban legend, I’m grateful, but I have to recognize that the RCMP know a lot about what’s going on in our world,” said Kevin Garinger, director of the Horizon School Division and the Englefeld Protestant Separate School Division.

He sent a cautionary memo out to parents in those divisions, which serve about 6,500 students, and they told him their kids already knew about it.

“It didn’t surprise me that our students were very aware of this game, he said. “I just found out from parents that, in fact, kids were talking about it. And then the question becomes: are parents aware of it?”

The Good Spirit School Division also sent out a similar memo on the challenge that allegedly originated in Eastern Europe.

RCMP said there aren’t any known complaints, concerns or ongoing investigations regarding the “Blue Whale Challenge” in Saskatchewan at this time, and no Canadian suicides have been linked to the game.

Garinger was first alerted by the Wakaw RCMP detachment, which got the information from a federal RCMP bulletin.

“I had no issue at all, to be honest with you, that this might be something like an urban legend, he said.

“I’m going to do whatever I need to do to keep our children safe.”

Donna Bowyer thinks parents should hear about the game, even if it doesn’t exist.

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