Canon-Mac alerts parents after elementary students mimic Netflix show ‘Squid Game’ at recess

CANONSBURG, Pa. — The Netflix drama series ‘Squid Game’ features adults playing children’s games for money. Losing participants face violent deaths.

The hit show, created for adults, is raising concern among administrators in the Canon-McMillan School District.

They say kids at Borland Manor Elementary School are playing similar games at recess, including violent outcomes.

“My 9-year-old came home and asked me what ‘Squid Games’ were, and I was kind of like floored,” said Jamie Renschler, the mother of two Borland Manor students who are in 2nd and 3rd grade. “The concern is not playing red light green light. My concern is the copycat violence,” said Renschler.

AHN Child Psychiatrist Dr. Gary Swanson is not surprised.

“Little children, in particular, are apt to imitate what they see on TV,” he said.

Swanson says kids consume three to five hours of TV or online video clips per day and he advises parents to make sure they know what their kids are watching.

“What we see with children and their exposure to violence on TV is that they can become numb or immune to the horror of violence,” said Swanson. “They begin to accept violence as a way to solve problems.”

The school district emailed a letter to parents on Sunday. It reads, in part: “Please have a conversation with your child about this show and its content being inappropriate for school. Please let them know that they are not to talk about the games or play the games with rules from the show at school. Students that continue to play will be subject to disciplinary measures as they do not align with our school community values.”

A spokesperson for the school district says administrators do not believe Borland Manor is the only school where this is happening. They will continue to monitor the issue and take action when necessary.