An English council has urged parents not to allow their children to watch the hit Netflix show “Squid Games” due to its graphic nature and the amount of violent content.
In email sent to parents and guardians, the Central Bedfordshire council’s education safeguarding team advised them to ‘be vigilant after hearing reports that children and young people are copying games and violence’ from the show. Reports have said children as young as six are copying the show’s traditional children’s games in the school playground which, in the show, come with deadly consequences for the losers.
The South Korean series centres around a fictional game show in which poverty-stricken characters compete in a series of death games to win a £27million cash prize. The survival drama, which features gruesome scenes of characters being shot in the head and organ harvesting, sees contestants take part in versions of traditional children’s games, with the winners progressing to the next stage.
Those failing the tasks are executed by a masked death squad standing by with machine guns. The Central Bedfordshire council email, which was first reported in The Guardian, said: ‘There have been some concerning reports recently about children and young people ‘playing’ Squid Game whilst at school. ‘We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game. The show is quite graphic with a lot of violent content.’ The council is the latest in a string of schools to issue advice to parents about the show.
Gareth Nichols, from Sir Francis Hill primary in Lincoln, said ‘a small group of pupils within school, aged around six’ were discussing the show and ‘re-enacting some scenes’. Mr Nichols said the class teacher ‘immediately contacted parents to make them aware’, the BBC reported. Sandown School in Deal, Kent, said Key Stage 2 teachers had given their pupils extra lessons on online safety and the dangers of watching content that is ‘not age appropriate’ as a response to the show’s popularity.
A spokeswoman for the school said: ‘We are always updating our advice to the parents and children, it’s something we are constantly updating. ‘As a response to this show and others we have put on extra lessons about violence and online harms.’ Goodwin Academy, another school in Deal, confirmed its safeguarding team had sent a letter to parents regarding age concerns over the content in the series.
A parent who lives in Deal wrote on social media: ‘We’ve received 2 school letters (primary/secondary) warning parents about letting kids watch ‘Squid Game’. ‘I’m starting to think a more general letter about parental responsibility might be more useful. Keep an eye on your kids’ media consumption people.’