Several schools in England are threatening to call child protective services and have parents arrested by police if they allow their children to play video games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Call Of Duty’.
The London Times reported that a group of Principals from 16 schools penned a letter to parents stating that in their belief, the games were directly responsible for the kids displaying “oversexualized behavior” in school.
“Several children have reported playing or watching adults play games which are inappropriate for their age and they have described the levels of violence and sexual content they have witnessed.” the letter notes, adding that “Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Dogs Of War and other similar games are all inappropriate for children and they should not have access to them.”
“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.” the letter declares.
The letter also warns that even allowing children access to social media sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp would be reported.
“Access to these games or to some social media sites such as those above increases early sexualised behaviours (sometimes harmful) in children and leaves them vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence.”
One of the principals told the Times that the move constituted an issuing of “clear guidelines” to parents, rather than a threat.
While it is certainly true that the video games contain adult themes, critics have urged that it is a parent’s responsibility to decide whether their child is responsible and mature enough to have access to them.
“Accepting the huge concerns about these violent games and their effect on children, I think the schools are stepping outside the realm of what is probably acceptable.” said Margaret Morrissey, of parents’ advocacy group Parents Outloud.
Having state aligned school officials lecture parents on how to raise their kids, and threaten them with arrest or, worse still, taking their children from them constitutes a very slippery slope.
This is especially prevalent, given the fact that the Tory government in teh UK is threatening social workers and teachers who fail to report even minor “concerns” about children with up to five years in prison.