Schools warn parents not to let children watch Squid Game

Schools warn parents not to let children watch Squid Game after pupils were caught copying scenes from violent Netflix show

  • Schools warm parents not to let children watch Netflix horror series Squid Game
  • South Korean series sees the characters compete in death games for money
  • Those failing tasks are executed by a masked death squad with machine guns

Schools are warning parents not to let their children watch the Netflix horror series Squid Game after pupils were caught copying scenes in the new show.    

The South Korean series, which is currently the most streamed show in the US and in the UK, 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 controversial show has now left schools urging parents to monitor what their children are watching amid fears of copycat behaviour.

Schools are warning parents not to let their children watch the Netflix horror series Squid Game which centres around a fictional game show in which poverty-stricken characters compete in a series of death games 

The South Korean drama features gruesome scenes of characters being shot in the head and organ harvesting

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.’   

A father said his children’s school in Ilford, east London, had also warned parents in a letter about kids playing their own version of Squid Game and that parents could be sanctioned over it. 

He tweeted: ‘Can’t believe my kids’ school has had to send a letter telling parents that kids are playing their own version of Squid Game and that parents will have sanctions applied if their kids mimic Squid Game. The popularity of this show is next level.’  

Squid Game, which was released on Netflix on September 17, was written by Hwang Dong-hyuk who himself suffered poverty during the ten years he spent trying to get the show made.

In each episode of Squid Game, characters take part in bloody versions of traditional children’s games, like Grandmother’s Footsteps, or British Bulldogs, with the winners progressing to the next ’round’ of the game show. 

In one challenge, inspired by a Korean schoolyard game, characters are told to run towards a disturbing mannequin after it calls out ‘green light’ and must stop when ‘red light’ is shouted.

Players who are caught moving after ‘red light’ is shouted are shot dead. 

The story centres around gambling addict Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) and his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), a disgraced banker wanted by the police. 

The characters in each episode take part in bloody versions of traditional children’s games

Parents took to social media to say they had received letters from their children’s schools about the Netflix show

It has become a cult hit with fans of the slasher horror genre who have dubbed the nine-part series ‘Saw meets the Hunger Games’.

But some TV fans have been left repulsed by the excessive violence, with some calling for it to be banned for viewers under 20 because it is ‘too gory’.    

Squid Game has been rated appropriate for viewers aged 15 and older and Netflix gives a series of content warnings including sex, violence and suicide.

John Jolly, CEO of Parentkind, a charity network of PTA fundraisers in the UK, said: ‘Where there are safeguarding concerns, especially when children younger than the 15 rating are watching the show at home, parents need to exercise judgement as to whether or not it’s suitable for their child.

‘They should use parental supervision to decide, just as they should when it comes to any entertainment containing adult themes that their child wishes to see.

‘Where there are specific worries, we encourage schools to work in partnership with parents as they have done in Kent.

‘This will increase parental awareness of the issues and ensure that parents can reinforce the school’s values in the home.’  

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