A headteachers group in Cheshire, England have warned parents that they will report them to police if their children are found to have played games carrying an 18+ rating.
Sent by the Nantwich Education Partnership, a group of 14 primary and two secondary schools in Cheshire, the letter was sent to parents last month after kids were found to have played games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Gears of War.
The letter reads:
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.
Mary Hennessy Jones, the headteacher who drafted the letter, spoke with The Sunday Times and said, “We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era. It is so easy for children to end up in the wrong place and parents find it helpful to have some very clear guidelines.”
Parents Outloud’s Margaret Morrissey added in response:
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.
It will be construed by many parents as a threat and it is not helpful. If schools want to get the support of parents and gain their confidence, threatening them with social services will not help.
Naturally, there have been many responses to this letter, with Elaine Halligan, London Director of the Parent Practice, saying she understands why the letter was sent, but threatening to get social services involved “is an absolute disaster, because it starts telling parents that we don’t trust you to be responsible for your children.”
[Source: The Sunday Times, Eurogamer, BBC]
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