Parents warned about hit Netflix show Squid Game after 'violence' in playgrounds

18 October 2021, 21:10

Some schools have issued warnings over Netflix's new hit series, Squid Game.
Some schools have issued warnings over Netflix's new hit series, Squid Game. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A number of schools in England have warned parents that children are imitating violent games from the hit Netflix show Squid Game.

The South Korean drama features people who are desperate for cash competing in a series of children’s games where failure results in them being killed, often brutally.

Concerns have been raised in the UK following reports children as young as six are copying the show's violent challenges on playgrounds.

The games include red light, green light – traditionally known as statues or grandmother’s footsteps in the UK – in which players try to reach a finish line while the game master’s back is turned.

They must freeze on the spot whenever the Squid Game doll turns around, and they are shot dead if they fail.

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Central Bedfordshire council's education safeguarding team said in a district-wide email that the 15-rated series was "quite graphic with a lot of violent content”.

According to The Guardian, the council urged parents to be "vigilant" and added: “We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game."

It follows a similar warning from a primary school in Ilford after pupils were seen trying to 'play' the games on the playgrounds.

One primary school in Esher, Surrey, sent out a safeguarding leaflet to parents last Friday warning them that children “may unintentionally put themselves in harm’s way by trying to recreate a small portion of the games”.

Parents have also been urged to be wary of Squid Game-related content shared on social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram.

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According to The Brussells Times, a school in Belgium also said children were beating up those who moved in lieu of shooting them, as in the popular series.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has awarded Squid Game a 15 rating in the UK for “sexual violence references, injury detail, crude humour, sex, suicide, sexual images, violence”.

Unlike BBFC’s 12a rating, which allows younger viewers to watch content provided they are with a parent or other guardian, the 15 rating states that the material is “suitable only for 15 years and over” with no concession for accompanying adults.