squid game
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
October 14, 2021 ·  4 min read

Schools urge parents not to let children watch Netflix’s Squid Game

If you hear the words “squid game” and you don’t know what we’re talking about, where have you been living for the last month? Squid Game, the new Netflix Series out of South Korea, has skyrocketed to international success. It has taken the number one spot in every single country that Netflix released it in. The show, without giving away any spoilers, is decidedly violent. Schools are now urging parents to not allow their primary school children to watch it. (1)

Schools Ask Parents To Ban Squid Game

The concept of Squid Game is relatively simple. People living in South Korea who are in large amounts of debt compete in popular South Korean children’s games to win money. The deadly twist is that if you do not successfully complete the game, you die. Usually, the deaths are quite gruesome and violent.

Squid Game is not intended for a young audience. Netflix has given it an age rating of TV-MA (17+) in the US or 15+ in the UK. Despite this, plenty of younger viewers have watched the show. Schools have recently begun speaking out against the show, asking parents to please not allow their children to watch it. They say that since the show, which is now the most popular non-English show in Netflix history, began, kids have been reenacting the scenes at recess.

Not Child’s Play

In the show, when the contestants are playing the game, one falter or mistake results in death. Teachers say that students have been playing the Squid Game games and fake shooting each other. Not only is this kind of pretend violence problematic in and of itself, but the kids’ play is apparently affecting friendships.

“We have noticed an increased number of children starting to play their own versions of this game in the playground – which in turn is causing conflict within friendship groups,” wrote a British primary school in a letter to parents. “Children who are watching this are being exposed to graphic realistic scenes of violence and sadly children are acting out this behaviours in the playground which will not be TOLERATED.
I would like to make you aware that this programme is rated a 15 for a reason. IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN. Any child who mimics or demonstrates these behaviours, parents will be called upon and sanctions applied.
Please be aware of the dangers of this TV programme for your children and reinforce positive behaviours. Also please explicitly share that pretending to shoot one another is not appropriate – nor acceptable. Please support us in keeping your children safe.”

Schools Taking A Stand

This isn’t the only school sending letters and putting actions in place to protect their students from the violence displayed on the show. Other schools have also begun teaching extra lessons on violence and harm to counteract what the kids have seen on Squid Game. Another school alerted parents of the dangers of their primary school-aged children by watching via a post on Facebook. The post read as follows (2):

“Squid Game – Online Safety Alert & Guidance for Parents.
The series is certified 15 and depicts sex scenes, nudity, extreme violence, self-harm, suicide, bad language.
The advice external bodies would give would not be any different to advice we would give about any other TV or film not suitable for children.
If they are not of the age to meet the certification, then they shouldn’t really be watching that series/film.”

As always, they are encouraging parental supervision and that parents are making sure that they are monitoring and talking with their children about the shows and movies they are watching. They want to ensure that the school’s messages of anti-violence are being reinforced at home.

Why The Squid Game?

The show is called Squid Game after a children’s game that was popular in South Korea in the 70s and 80s when the show’s creator was growing up. This game is a somewhat physically aggressive game that kids often played at school. (3)

Naturally, it is extremely important that parents are aware of what the Netflix show Squid Game is all about. From there, they must decide whether they are comfortable with their kids watching it. If the answer is yes, they need to ensure the kids understand what they are watching, why it is wrong, and that they shouldn’t try to reenact scenes with their friends. If no, they also need to explain to their kids why.

Keep Reading: Mom Of Four Boys Writes Letter Blaming Women In Leggings For Tempting Young Men


  2. School issues warning to parents over Netflix show Squid Game.” Mirror. Toni Guillot, Shiler Mahmoudi. October 11, 2021.
  3. Is Squid Game a real game in Korea? How is the game played?AS. Diana Velayos. October 11, 2021.