Schools in Cheshire are looking to take action against parents who allow their children access or exposure to games containing adult content. The Guardian states the headteachers of the 16 schools are warning parents that if it is found that their child is playing games containing violent or sexual material will be reported to the police and social services for neglect.
This warning has come after 15 primary schools and one secondary school in Cheshire discovered that some of their students had played or watched adult rated games. Such titles included Call of Duty, Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto.
However, headteachers said that alongside games, children should have limited access to social media sites such as Facebook and Whatsapp, as they could lead to “early sexualised behaviour” and children may become “vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence”. For the latter, this writer would say that this has been an issue since the days of MSN and early online chat rooms and is not just a recent concern.
The draft of the letter to parents advises that “if your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game or associated product that is designated 18+, we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as this is deemed neglectful”.
Parents’ groups have stated that the reporting of families for this is going too far. Margaret Morrissey of Parents Outloud has said “accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside of the realm of what is probably acceptable”.
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