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BDS officials warn of “Squid Game” danger at school

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:29 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Controversy has surrounded Bay District Schools for the past few weeks on different trends causing harm to people or property. Wednesday, a new trend could be seen on the playgrounds.

The district was first made aware of this new trend at Hiland Park Elementary.

“Upon talking to the kids, we found out that they were mimicking “Squid Game,” which is a popular show on Netflix right now,” Hiland Park Elementary Principal Ilea Faircloth said.

In the show, characters are “eliminated” from games, which means death. Normally harmless games like Red Light/Green Light are being mimicked where students hurt each other during “elimination.”

“Pushing, shoving, kicking, you know things that kids do, but when you add it to the component of a game and competitiveness, kids take it too far because they’re kids,” said Faircloth.

Taking it too far, because district officials said many children don’t know otherwise.

“Children sometimes have trouble differentiating between ‘but I saw it on TV’ and then they’re just trying to replicate in the play yard and kids are getting hurt,” Director of Communications Sharon Michalik.

Even if kids don’t have access to viewing the show on TV, district officials said they discovered scenes are being made available to students through social media and gaming apps.

“Parents may think ‘well my students are not seeing this show, it’s not appropriate for their age group,’ but they may not realize that children have access to it in other ways,” said Michalik.

Now district officials are calling on parents to have that conversation with their kids to help them understand.

“It’s just so important for the day and time we live in for our parents and our staff to be hypervigilant of what’s going on so that content and hurting stays out of our schools,” said Faircloth.

As they said, recess is a time to teach students life skills like sportsmanship and working together as a team. Skills they don’t want to be associated with hurting one another.

Faircloth said she spoke with students Thursday morning about keeping your hands, feet and objects to yourself and how to play appropriately on the playground. She adds now they have more supervision on the playground and more teachers are aware of what to look for.

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