“Squid Game” in schoolyards: psychologist warns of “worrying” trend

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From: Felicitas Bogner

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Christiane Buchmann School Psychologist © Private

The school psychologist Christiane Buchmann explains in an interview how parents should react to the trend of the violence series “Squid Game”.

Holzkirchen – The Netflix series “Squid Game” is currently very popular. It triggers a real hype, especially among children and young people. In the series, people compete against each other in children’s games. The loser dies. In some schoolyards in Bavaria, children are already recreating scenes and games from the brutal series. The loser is slapped and insulted. In an interview, Christiane Buchmann (40), a school psychologist at the Oberland Realschule Holzkirchen, explains how this trend should be dealt with from an educational point of view.

Beatings in school yards because of “Squid Game”: Psychologist with educational tips

How dangerous do you think the trend triggered by Sqiud Game is?

I think this trend is worrying and, in terms of holistic media education, I can only appeal to parents to be informed about the series their children are watching. We teachers also have to stay up to date here.

Can this cause bullying in the schoolyards?

I would not come up with the term bullying in this context. For me it is more of a dangerous dynamic that can arise from the unreflective re-enactment of this series.

“Squid Game” on the playground: “I think the trend is worrying and can only appeal to parents”

Has the game already arrived at the secondary school in Holzkirchen?

The subject of “Squid Game” has not yet been brought up to me by the teachers. But I’m sure that students in our school will also know the series.

How should parents behave when they notice that their child is taking part in a game like this?

Prevention is an important building block in education. Parents shouldn’t just pay attention to what their children are looking at in terms of age restrictions. They should also show interest in what their children are watching or, ideally, sit down in front of the series together. I’m not interested in banning series. A cozy evening watching TV with the family offers the opportunity to clarify questions that may arise while watching them, so that a correct classification can take place in reality. The first step in prevention begins here.

“Squid Game” with schoolchildren: “Parents have to be brought on board”

How should the break supervisor behave if they hear any scenes?

If fisticuffs of any kind occur in the playground, the intervention of the school attendants must be a matter of course. Depending on the occasion, we also call in our trained mediators who clarify the conflicts at the student level.

Is there generally a need for more school education about the representation of violence in the media?

The parents have to be brought on board. Media consumption takes place at home, mostly with the parents’ accounts. Rules should be agreed as to which age restrictions are to be complied with or what is only viewed collectively. We are happy to support parents with prevention. In our class teacher lessons, for example, from the 5th grade onwards, we incorporate elements in which our students experience class community and develop non-violent conflict solutions. Media education is also an integral part of this. Of course, as a secondary school, we are also available to advise parents if the child’s media behavior leads to conflicts at home.

More media consumption during corona lockdown

Could it be a consequence of the corona lockdown, which lasted several months, that schoolchildren were more in front of the PC and thus had more opportunities to watch series and films with depictions of violence?

In principle, I can already see increased media consumption during the Corona period. But this is certainly not only true of young people. It is important to keep talking and to exchange ideas about what interests everyone. This is possible in a family setting, but also in class. Content from different series will certainly arise in open discussions.

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