Gardiner Area High School

Nestled on a hill along the banks of Maine's Kennebec River, GAHS serves 660 students from the surrounding towns of Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph, and West Gardiner. Our school is part of Maine School Administrative District #11 which maintains the schools in the Gardiner area.



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Blue Whale Challenge information

Parent/Guardian Alert - "Blue Whale Challenge"
Please take a moment and look over the following alert MSAD#11 recently received from the Maine Department of Education regarding a concerning smart phone app known as "Blue Whale Challenge".

The Maine Department of Education has learned that there are a number of rumors circulating about a smart phone app called the Blue Whale Challenge. Stories indicate that the app is a social media challenge targeting 10-14 year olds. Rumors suggest that this app encourages at-risk, vulnerable teens to perform specific, and sometimes harmful tasks, assigned by an anonymous group administrator. Escalating over the course of a 50 day period, the tasks lure participants into sharing personal information, and as the game progresses that information is then used against the” players” in the form of threats if they choose to stop playing. On the last day of the challenge, the only way to win is to die by suicide.

It is the Department’s intent to make you aware of the rumor and to share the most current information related to this issue. We are aware of instances across the country where administrators and other sources have been sharing information on this issue, and we do know that some students in Maine are aware of the app.

Here is a recently published article about the Blue Whale Challenge, from Cyberbullying.org, that may provide some more helpful context around the app and specific rumors associated with it: http://cyberbullying.org.... Please take note of the last two paragraphs which contain information that supports the importance of awareness and prevention strategies.

"13 Reasons Why"

Dear Families:

Recently I have been made aware of the worrisome Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. This show portrays a 17 year old girl who commits suicide and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she states were partially responsible for why she killed herself. There are concerns being raised regarding the potential harm to some children that may occur should they be exposed to the content of this series without appropriate adult supervision and guidance.

According to information provided to Maine school districts from the Department of Education and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) does not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. “Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognized both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.”

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