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Parents, Please be Aware

This week a 10-year-old Italian boy threw himself off the balcony of his 11th floor apartment in the city of Naples, Italy, after leaving a note to his parents saying, “I’m sorry, mom. I love you, but I’m afraid of the black man in the hood.”

Although the case is under investigation everything points to a new social media menace going by the name of Jonathan Galindo, which like other internet menaces encourages children and teenagers to act out extreme and dangerous challenges.

The challenge first hit the United States before moving to Europe.  Jonathon Galindo appears as a man dressed up as Goofy, and sends friend requests via Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok, and once the child or teenager accepts his friend request he proposes a series of dangerous challenges.

In order to participate in the ‘games,’ children are required to disclose personal information, namely address, school, parents’ names, among others.  According to Sussex Police in the UK, Jonathan Galindo is thought to be connected to the Blue Whale challenge, whose 50 challenges end with the child or teen being encouraged to take their own life.

According Italian Newspaper SOL, the Italian boy’s parents had noticed that he had been worried lately, but had not said why.  Unfortunately, his parents were witness to the incident, as after he threw himself out of the window, they heard a noise and ran out to find out what was happening, only to find their son.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.

If you are worried about your child or any child, some of the signs to watch for include: –

• Children receiving messages or posts from Jonathan Galindo, or a man with his face painted to resemble Mickey Mouse or a dog (Goofy)

• Receiving or making references to #f57, #f40 or #IMaWhale

• Extreme changes in eating or sleeping habits

• Wearing long-sleeved loose clothing to disguise any self-harm marks

• Taking photographs and sending them to unrecognisable accounts.

Samantha Gannon
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