Text messages sent to students at Somerville Elementary School in Ridgewood, N.J., threaten to kill them if they don't forward the texts to a certain number of people, according to local media reports.
Somerville students in the fourth and fifth grades received these digital chain letters on their cellphones in recent weeks, The Record in North Jersey reported.
Lorna Oates-Santos, the school's principal, sent a letter to parents on March 19 warning that the text message "is rather scary, quite graphic and inappropriate." (The entire message can be read below.)
"It is clear that this message was not created by a student at our school; rather, it comes from the Internet and is spreading like wildfire," Oates-Santos wrote to parents, according to the Ridgewood Patch. "Our students, however, are involved in forwarding the message and writing about it."
Oates-Santos encouraged parents to discuss best practices with their children for using social media and digital communication.
"I know those things are fake, so I just deleted it and didn't worry about it," Somerville fifth-grader Lucy Kaczmarski told WCBS.
Lucy is right, and a quick scan of the Internet will bring up posts including this exact chain message from 2011, 2010 and 2007. But the news also brought up a question about whether it's appropriate for fourth- and fifth-graders to have their own cellphones in the first place.
The messages circulated among students are pasted below (via Ridgewood Patch):
Hi, I am Teddy. Once you read this you cannot get out. Finish reading this until it is done! As I said, I am Teddy. I am 7 years old. I have no eyes and blood all over my face. I am dead. If you don't send this to at least 12 people I will come to your house at midnight and I'll hide under your bed. When you're asleep, I'll kill you.
Don't believe me? Case 1: Patty Buckles Got this e-mail. She doesn't believe in chain letters. Well, Foolish Patty. She was sleeping when her TV started flickering on and off. Now she's not with us anymore. Ha ha patty, Ha ha! You don't want to be like Patty, do you?
Case 2: George M. Simon Hates chain mail, but he didn't want to die that night. He sent it to 4 people. Not good enough George. Now, George is in a coma, we don't know if he'll ever wake up. Ha ha George, Ha ha! Now, do you want to be like George?
Case 3: Valarie Tyler She got this letter. Another chain letter she thought. Only had 7 people to send to. Well, That night when she was having a shower she saw bloody Mary in the mirror. It was the BIGGEST fright of her life. Valarie is scarred for life.
Case 4: Derek Minse This is the final case I'll tell you about. Well, Derek was a smart person. He sent it to 12 people. Later that day, he found a $100.00 bill on the ground. He was premoted to head officer at his job and his girlfriend said yes to his purposal. Now, Katie and him are living happily ever after.The have 2 beautiful children.
Send this to at least 12 people or you'll face the consequences. 0 people- You will die tonight 1-6 people- you will be injured 7-11 people- you will get the biggest fright of your life 12 and over- you are safe and will have good fortune! Do What Teddy Says!!!! Hurry, you must send to 12 people before midnight no send backs Sorry!! I had to!