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Squid Game could turn kids into bullies as scenes copied at school, expert warns

The wildly successful and harrowing Korean drama Squid Game has become streaming giant Netflix’s first show to top 100 million viewers in its first month

Squid Game is officially Netflix’s most popular series launch of all time

The hit Netflix show Squid Game could turn children into bullies, an expert has warned.

The wildly successful series may damage youngsters’ social and emotional development by encouraging them to stand by or join in rather than help if they see someone being harmed, according to Dr Sandra Wheatley.

Officially Netflix’s most popular series launch of all time, the harrowing Korean drama has become the streaming giant’s first show to top 100 million viewers in its first month.

The premise is brutal – around 500 people from different backgrounds, all apparently in debt, sign up to compete against each other to win £27million in prize money.

The series sees characters compete in a series of seemingly harmless games based on childhood games but all losers are killed on the spot.



The hit Netflix show could turn children into bullies, an expert has warned




The 15-rated show – which has been watched by more than 111 million people worldwide – features scenes of shootings, stabbings and organ harvesting.

If a contestant loses they will be shot dead by masked guards in red jumpsuits, and those who change their minds about participating will also be shot.

It has gained critical acclaim globally, including a 92 percent rating on popular review site, Rotten Tomatoes.

But Dr Wheatley has warned the show could have a negative impact on young viewers, the Daily Star reports.

She said: “It may make them question, ‘why is nobody helping them?

“Clearly there are messages there that we really don’t want our kids to take on board.”



The series sees characters compete in a series of seemingly harmless games based on childhood games but all losers are killed on the spot
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Image:

Netflix/AFP via Getty Images)




The pscyhologist’s warning came after John Bramston primary school in Ilford, east London, wrote to parents warning them pupils were copying scenes in the playground.

Central Bedfordshire council sent out an email urging parents not to let their children watch as they play the featured games.

The email reads: “There have been some concerning reports recently about children and young people ‘playing’ Squid Game whilst at school.

“We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game. The show is quite graphic with a lot of violent content.”

There have been suggestions that children have been using physical violence in the playground to “punish” losers.

Gareth Nichols, of Sir Francis Hill primary in Lincoln, said six-year-olds were “reenacting scenes” while Sandown School in Deal, Kent, said teachers had given their pupils extra lessons on online safety and the dangers of watching content that is ‘not age appropriate’ as a response to the show’s popularity.

A spokeswoman for the Kent school said: “We are always updating our advice to the parents and children, it’s something we are constantly updating.

“As a response to this show and others we have put on extra lessons about violence and online harms.”


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