“Squid Game” — Netflix’s “biggest series launch ever” — tells the story of 456 people who have dire financial troubles and participate in a series of children’s games such as “Red Light, Green Light” in the hopes of winning a massive cash prize. However, the penalty for losing is a brutal death.
The Korean horror series debuted on Sept. 17 and has already become a massive hit, including among children, according to reports.
Schools around the world are warning parents to monitor what their children are watching amid reports that children are reportedly reenacting “Squid Game” during recess by punishing losers by allegedly harming them.
“Squid Game” — Netflix’s “biggest series launch ever” — tells the story of 456 people who have dire financial troubles and participate in a series of children’s games such as “Red Light, Green Light” in the hopes of winning a massive cash prize. However, the penalty for losing is a brutal death. (Netflix)
One school in Belgium told parents in a Facebook post earlier this month that children were punching kids who were losing the games.
“We are very vigilant to stop this unhealthy and dangerous game,” the translated post to parents said, in part. “We rely on your support and collaboration to raise awareness of the consequences this can bring about!”
Meanwhile, at Bay District Schools in Florida, similar incidents are happening.
Last week, the district posted a “Safety Update” on Facebook, informing parents that some “Squid Game” content is being made available to children “without the knowledge of their parents.”
“As a result, some children are trying to replicate show scenes at school but what sounds harmless (who didn’t play Red Light/Green Light as a kid?) is not actually harmless because the game in the television show includes ‘elimination’ (death) and we are seeing kids trying to actually hurt each other in the name of this ‘game,’” the post said, in part.
“Please make sure you’re aware of the content your children are accessing online and that you talk to them about NOT playing violent ‘games’ at school,” the post continued. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt and we don’t want to generate discipline referrals for students who don’t really understand what they are re-enacting.”
Children are reportedly playing their own version of the violent Netflix series “Squid Game” on the playground at school, including “eliminating” kids who lose the game by hitting or kicking them, according to some schools. iStock)
Ilea Faircloth, the principal of Hiland Park Elementary School in Panama City, Florida, and part of the Bay District Schools, told Fox News that students were hitting and kicking each other as the “elimination” portion of “Squid Game.”
However, Faircloth told Fox News that the students weren’t basing their hurtful playground games directly after the TV show “Squid Game.” According to Faircloth, the children had also learned about the show through online videos using video game characters reenacting the show.
“With our younger students, they didn’t know it was something they shouldn’t be doing,” Faircloth told Fox.
She said that after school officials became aware of what was going on, they spoke to the children involved and sent out a message to parents.
Schools in the U.S., Belgium, Northern Ireland and Australia are warning parents to be mindful of what their children are watching online. (Netflix)
She said she also sent more employees onto the playground for extra assistance, to make sure there would be no further incidents.
“We just have to be hyper-vigilant at the school level, no matter what age group it is,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth said no child was seriously hurt and since school officials talked to parents, there haven’t been any more issues on the playground.
“We haven’t really had another problem since,” Faircloth said. “But, just like anything else, things come in waves and when it comes, we just address it.”
Earlier this month, the Parents Television Media Council (PTC) Program Director Melissa Henson wrote an op-ed saying that “Squid Game” was being promoted on social media to viewers who are too young to watch the series.
“Netflix should be acting as a gatekeeper to ensure content that is harmful to minors is not being distributed on their platform,” Henson told Fox News, “and that also includes highly sexualized content like ‘Big Mouth’ and content that might inspire self-harm, like ‘13 Reasons Why.’”
Netflix did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment regarding children playing “Squid Game” at school.
According to Nemours Children’s Health, children who see violence on television “are more likely to show aggressive behavior, and to fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.”
The pediatric research nonprofit also said that if children are exposed to violence in the media, it can be confusing for them to understand the difference between right and wrong and can easily frighten younger children.
According to the nonprofit, the average American child will see 200,000 violent acts on television by the time they are 18 years old.
Nemours recommends that when kids do watch TV, play video games or go online, parents should consider spending some of that time with their children “as a chance to talk and learn together.”
“Squid Game,” which has been streamed more than 111 million times since it debuted last month, is rated TV-MA for language, violence, sex, nudity, suicide and smoking, according to Netflix.
Though children are playing their own version of the “Squid Game,” on the playground, adults are also going to “Squid Game”-themed events.
Fox News previously reported that a real-life “Squid Game” event was hosted in Abu Dhabi last week and another similar event is being planned for Oct. 24.
Fox News’ Cortney Moore and FOX Business’ Jessica Napoli contributed to this report.
Source by feeds.foxnews.com