UK college group threatens to name the police for youngsters taking part in grownup video games

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A group of school principals in Cheshire, England, warned parents that they will look for evidence that children in their care have access to adult video games at home and “contact the police and childcare” if brought up to date from that.

The Nantwich Education Partnership, which represents 16 schools in Cheshire, sent a message to parents last month expressing concern that “several children have reported playing games or watching adults play unsuitable for their age and describing the extent of violence and sexual content they have seen. “The letter mentions Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Dogs of War (which we believe to be an incorrectly named mutilation of God or War or Gears of War) as inappropriate and warned parents that children should not have access to Facebook or WhatsApp accounts before they are old enough.

“Having access to these games OR some social media sites like the one above increases premature sexualized behavior (sometimes harmful) in children AND makes them vulnerable to care for sexual exploitation or extreme violence,” the letter reads ( reprinted from The Daily Mail). . “If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to a game or related product labeled 18+, we are [sic] It is recommended to contact the police and childcare as this is negligent. “

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Writer Mary Hennessy Jones defended the letter to the Sunday Times, saying it was simply an effort “helping parents … keep their children as safe as possible in this digital age. It’s so easy for children to be wrong Landing place and parents find it helpful to have very clear guidelines. “

However, at least one parent group is not that enamored with the group’s plan. “It is interpreted as a threat by many parents and is not helpful,” Margaret Morrissey, a representative of the Parents Outloud lobby group, told the Times. “If schools get the support of their parents and want to gain their trust, they threaten too.” Social Services Won’t Help … The inclusion of social services is an absolute disaster as it tells parents that we don’t trust you to be responsible for your children. “

As of 2012, PEGI ratings have been in effect in the UK, with potential penalties for retailers selling games to children that match ratings from European rating organizations 12, 16 or 18+. This is in contrast to the American system, where ESRB ratings are voluntarily issued and enforced by industry and retailers (with widespread success).

However, this is the first time parents have been given access to such games by their own children as “negligent” with the need to involve social services. The Nantwich letter does not identify children’s potential access to adult films, television shows, music or other entertainment as similarly harmful.