KINGSTON –– The education ministries in Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda have banned the controversial Charlie Charlie Challenge in schools, following reported displays of “paranormal behaviour” by students.
In Antigua, Minister of Education Michael Browne said the game had no place in the island’s schools and the ministry would be adopting a zero tolerance approach. He warned that students who broke the rule would be immediately suspended, with the possibility of expulsion.
According to media reports out of the twin-island nation, at least 12 students at one secondary school, where the game was being played last week, were rushed to the hospital by emergency personnel after they complained of nausea, fainting and shortness of breath.
Over in Jamaica, the Ministry of Education issued a bulletin in which Chief Education Officer Grace McLean instructed all schools to closely monitor students to ensure they were not taking the challenge which allegedly involves summoning a demon to answer questions with “yes” or “no” answers.
“Some reports intimated that students displayed demon-possessed or paranormal behaviour while playing the game,” the ministry said.
In addition to asking teachers to keep close watch and to “immediately contact the regional offices if they need help and further support to address the situation”, the ministry urged parents and guardians to monitor their charges since playing the game could have seriously psychological effects on and cause physical harm to children.
The Ministry of Education in St Lucia –– where students reported seeing desks lifting off the ground –– implemented a similar ban last week.
The Charlie Charlie Challenge, which has been trending on social media, is a rudimentary form of the Ouija board.
Those taking the challenge balance two pencils in a cross on a piece of paper with the words “yes” and “no” written in the quandrants, repeat the phrase “Charlie, Charlie can we play?” to connect with the demon and wait for a response which comes through the top pencil pointing to a word. Players then ask other questions and await responses.