Parents warned as rumors swirl over teen suicide game ‘Blue Whale’

Posted at 11:26 AM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 12:44:21-04

Out of precaution, school districts have been warning parents about the potential danger of an online game, which no one has yet proved even exists.

There have been no reports of anyone taking part in the game locally, but some Connecticut school districts have sent letters to parents to warning of the potential danger online and multiple news agencies have reported about it.

It's called the “Blue Whale” challenge and the schools reported to parents that participants are assigned challenges that put their lives at risk, to be completed over a 50-day period.

The challenges start off somewhat harmless, like watching a horror movie, but quickly escalate to more risk taking ones like dangling off a roof, according to the school letters. All the challenges lead up to the final challenge, one that school counselors said encourages the person to commit suicide.

The superintendent of Norwich County schools in Connecticut, Abby Doliver, said her office found out about the "deadly game" from police.

Parent Jill Cuff told WFSB that she constantly monitors what her three school-age children watch on TV and online.

"Yes, we are constantly talking to our children about consequences and doing the right thing land being careful about who they talk to because just don't know, it's scary," Cuff said.

The online suicide game was first reported to have started in Russia,  but so far there haven’t been any verified reports of kids taking part in the challenge here in the U.S., though school districts are warning parents. Fact checking website  concludes that despite concern over the game, it is unproven to exist.

The initial report was that 80 Russian suicides were linked to the “Blue Whale” game, but no suicides have been definitely linked to an online community or app, upon investigation, according to Radio Free Europe.

"What we did is send messages home to our parents of our middle school students, we don't have our own high school to tell them about the game to ask them to be watching students iPhones which we do encourage them to do that anyway and they don't see anything leading up to see 50 activities,” said Abby Doliver, Norwich Schools Superintendent.

Though panic has escalated over rumors before, like mass suicides in the 80s over the game Dungeons and Dragons, parents said you can't be too cautious, especially amid the streaming show series "13 Reasons Why," that deals with a teen's suicide.