Use of smart phones by children in Lucknow schools has been banned by the education department in a bid to keep them away from the ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, an online dare game linked to teen deaths across the world. Guardians of students have been asked to monitor their wards and ensure they are not engaged in the game. The orders come after a 14-year-old boy allegedly hanged himself in his room in Indira Nagar locality last week with the incident being linked to the Blue Whale game. “Use of smart phones by students in schools here has been banned. For this, directives are being issued to randomly check students while teachers and parents have also been asked to monitor activities of children,” District Inspector of Schools Mukesh Kumar Singh told PTI.
“We are also asking school authorities to randomly check students. If a child appears tense or abnormal, it should immediately be noticed and counselling done,” he said. The Uttar Pradesh Police had last week issued directives to police chiefs of all districts to ban the game. Director General of Police Sulkhan Singh has asked officials to make efforts to contact school authorities and ensure that children are prevented from playing the game.
Taking cognisance of the deaths, the Union information technology ministry had also directed social media giants such as Facebook, Google and Instagram to remove links of the controversial game from their sites.