Childrearing

It’s Ridiculous That School Principals Are Threatening To Call The Cops If Kids Play Grand Theft Auto

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10303289_873610839367089_122105851193169669_nThere are a lot of violent, sexually explicit video games out there that are not appropriate for children, but one school has gotten so adamant about enforcing parental guidance codes on video games that they’ve threatened to call the police on any parents caught letting their kids play inappropriate games. Frankly, I would pay good money to be there when that call happened, because I imagine the police response would be absolute gold.

According to CNet, the Nantwitch Education Partnership wrote to the parents of students in 16 schools in Cheshire, England, and reportedly said:

“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.”

As much as I imagine any parent would be some combination of angry and horrified to have the police show up at the door to issue a reprimand for neglectful parenting because a kid played Call of Duty, I suspect many of the police in Cheshire would take umbrage at the idea that this was their responsibility. Unless Cheshire is an idyllic, peaceful wonderland full of only fluffy clouds and baby lambs, I suspect the police might say they have better things to do than yell at parents for letting their middle schoolers watch R-rated movies or play R-rated video games. While Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are mentioned specifically, the schools did say the police would be called if the children were allowed to play any video game rated 18 and up.

Some school administrators defended the position and made it sound like parents would be grateful for the letter.

“Parents find it helpful to have some very clear guidelines,” said Pear Tree Primary School principal Mary Hennessy Jones, despite the fact that the letter seems less like a clear guideline and more like an overt threat.

I absolutely do not think the GTA games are appropriate for children, but this does not seem like an issue that should involve calling the police and children’s services. Also, I find it noteworthy that the school is apparently targeting only video games in this letter. Video games have age guidelines, but so do movies. If this threat only applies to video games, it seems to hinge on the misguided notion that video games as a medium are inherently dangerous–moreso than movies or TV or other media children might consume.

Photo: Facebook/GTA5