The latest “48 hour missing challenge,’ dares kids to go missing for two days so that their name(s) will display on Amber alerts and social media.
The web has seen a plethora of ‘challenges’ in recent years (i.e. the Bird Box challenge, the Keke challenge, etc.). They ordinarily involve some form of reckless behavior that persons, generally teenagers or young children perform to garner viral fame. And, with that said – now we have the ’48 hour challenge.’
The Tennessee Police initially noticed that more teens and children were reported missing for 48 hours and became concerned. The Bradley County Sheriff’s office was alarmed about the spike in runaway children and discovered that it correlated with an online community that is inspiring them to do so.
“Last week was a bit of an anomaly,” stated Lewis. “We had five juveniles that were reported as runaways that we were investigating and have located almost all of those individuals since then.”
“The single best thing parents can do to avoid a situation like this is to spend time with your teens and with your children. Certainly, I think it’s important in this day and age, for parents to be aware of who they’re hanging out with and what they’re being exposed to,” Lewis added.
Lewis noted that signs parents should be cautious of in a possible runaway consist of: “Distress at home, rebellious behavior, trouble at school, certainly if a teen has threatened to run away.”
Thus far, there’s no official confirmation of a link between the runaway children and social media coerce. Law enforcement are requesting guardians to keep a close eye on their kids in case they are contemplating attempting this.
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