Schools have threatened to report parents to the police if their children are caught playing violent video games such as Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto.
A letter was sent to parents of children in 16 schools in Cheshire – one secondary and 15 primary institutions – after some were reported to have played or watched games with adult or criminal themes such as warfare, sex and carjacking.
The Nantwich Education Partnership, the group of schools who sent the warning, said age-inappropriate games could increase “early sexualised behaviours” and the advice was in line with local authority policy and concerns.
The letter was drafted by headteacher Mary Hennessy Jones of Pear Tree School in Nantwich before being sent out last month.
She wrote: “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: 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-plus we are advised to contact the police and children’s social care as it is neglectful.”
Parents were also warned about allowing their youngsters to have accounts on social media sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp because it could make them vulnerable to sexual grooming and explicit images.
The letter went on: “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.”
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