Wednesday, August 12, 2020
US flag

Obit: Isaiah Gonzalez; Blue Whale suicide challenge

Assorted news reports, many of them appearing in Christian publications, are warning teens and parents about the Blue Whale suicide challenge online game; they say it has been linked to the suicides of children as young as elementary school.

One family in San Antonio, Texas, for example, blames the game for the suicide death of their 15-year-old son, USA Today reports.

Jorge Gonzalez, who found his son, Isaiah, hanging in a closet on July 8 in their home, reportedly found evidence on Isaiah’s cellphone that he was participating in the game. “I think to him, it was a joke,” the paper quoted Jorge as saying. “It wasn’t him trying to commit suicide. I don’t see him doing that.”

The Voices for Children of San Antonio was urging parents across America to be on the lookout for signs of suicidal thinking in their children, including isolation, loss of interest, changes in behavior or personality, or an emotional development that’s not really keeping up with their intellectual or academic gains, which is very common in adolescents.

World Net Daily, a Christian publication, says the Blue Whale online suicide challenge has been linked to “hundreds of teen suicides.” The site mentions a few of them, but other news sources have corroborated the general trend in adolescents and adults alike.

The game engages players by, at first, challenging them to draw a blue whale or watch horror movies all night. Within the first 50 days, though, the challenges escalate and include activities like scoping out locations where they might kill themselves, such as the top of tall buildings or train stations. Beginning at 4:20 AM on the 50th day of the challenge, participants are instructed to kill themselves.

Parents, keep watch. Teens are gullible and can be convinced of any number of things—drugs, sex, and even, I suppose, suicide.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.