Squid Game warning in South Tyneside after concerns over children mimicking scenes from Netflix show

Parents in South Tyneside have been warned after reports of children mimicking scenes from the Netflix series Squid Game.

The popular South Korean thriller series tells the story of debt-ridden people competing for a huge cash prize in a deadly series of children's games.

Though many of the games which feature on the programme require specialist equipment, some are ramped up versions of traditional playground games such as marbles and tug-of-war.

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While in the series the the contestants face the penalty of being shot if they fail to succeed, there have been national reports of children inventing other physical punishments for peers who lose games.

A scene from the Netflix programme Squid Game. Photograph: Noh Juhan | Netflix

There are also concerns the material is not age-appropriate for children.

Responding to concerns, Councillor Adam Ellison, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "Squid Game is a series for people aged 15 and over so is not appropriate for primary school children.

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"We have sent information to all schools through the Safeguarding Partnership, which can be shared with parents, which highlights the concerns of this series being watched by young children.

"We would encourage parents and carers to monitor children's viewing habits and encourage age-appropriate material only."

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Councillor Adam Ellison, lead member for Children, Young People and Families, has raised concerns about the influence of age inappropriate TV programmes.
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One of those schools to share guidance with parents is Harton Primary School.

A message recently sent out to parents read: “Some children have been playing yard games inspired by the Netflix show Squid Game.

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"While the games the children are playing have not currently caused concern – mainly chasing tag-type games – the content of the TV programme may not be age appropriate.”

The school has also posted the message on its website, reminding parents that the programme has an age rating of 15 and directing parents to the Common Sense Media website which offers guidance on age appropriate content.

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All parents have to do is input the programme they wish to check and a review and age rating will appear.

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Described as having “extreme violence, sex and some moral lessons” the site rates Squid Game as 16 plus.

South Tyneside is not the first Council to raise concerns about the influence of the programme with Central Bedfordshire Council emailing parents earlier this month warning families to be “vigilant” over concerns regarding “aggressive behaviour”.

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