Kolkata: The Association Of Schools For The Indian School Certificate (ASISC), which runs around 250 schools across the state, has planned to train teachers and students on the fallouts of the Blue Whale challenge and other such dangerous online activities. The move follows a city police advisory urging people to restrain themselves and others from playing the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’. Cops urged people to report if they came across others who are into it.
“We will conduct a workshop. We will hire counsellors from each school and ask two students and one teacher from every school to attend the workshop. The Blue Whale Challenge has been banned, but there remains a possibility of such things coming back on social media. So we want to make children aware of the problems and danger of watching those challenges and participating in them. These students will return to their schools and explain and counsel others,” said Nabarun De, secretary of ASISC.
He added, “We will also inform them about the bad affects of dangerous online games. Individual schools cannot afford to hire people to conduct separate workshops. So, on behalf of the association, we will make the necessary arrangements. The teachers and students who will attend our workshop will be nominated by the principals.”
Earlier, in an advisory to parents, police had said the challenge created an area which vulnerable, isolated or depressed children and teenagers might visit and be exploited and controlled. “Furthermore, it created new opportunities for predators to target victims on social media,” it said. The advisory asked people to contact police or dial 100 in case of an emergency.
Anxious school authorities and parents’ groups in the city have also started issuing advisories on websites, social media and group messaging apps regarding Blue Whale, which has reportedly been linked to hundreds of teen deaths across the world — the latest being at Andheri in Mumbai, where a 14-year-old boy jumped off the terrace as the final task of the game.
A WhatsApp message circulated by parents across groups of schools, of which TOI has a copy, stated: “Any parents out there or anyone who knows of a kid playing an online game called ‘Blue Whale’, please get them off this game immediately. The game sets the kids 50 challenges, many of them being hurting themselves and the last one is to commit suicide. Please act fast and save your children from this deadly game.”