South Korean drama Squid Game has become popular among young children across the world, despite it not being recommended viewing for this age group due to violent and sexual content and coarse language. UK schools and Macau’s education department have issued cautionary advice about it, and a Hong Kong school has followed suit.

Bill Garnett, the principal of Peak School, said in a bulletin that school authorities are “starting to hear that a small number of [our] children […] have watched or are watching the series at the moment. This is concerning as the content is such that it is recommended for 16+ or older.”

The bulletin included resources that parents could access to make informed decisions about whether to allow their children to watch the show, emphasizing that the content of Squid Games is “very explicit”. Garnett added that the school will not ban students from playing Red Light Green Light – the first game featured in the drama – as it is a “great non-contact game that our children can play during their breaks”.

Garnett’s concerns are echoed in Facebook posts on groups like Hong Kong Moms and DB Mums, where parents say that even 9-year-olds want to watch Squid Game. Most parents say the show is inappropriate for anyone under 18. Some are willing to let their teenagers watch a couple of episodes and let them decide whether they want to continue. A few will even “watch it with the kids and discuss that it is just a show” since they feel their children will likely watch the more sensational clips on YouTube or Instagram anyway.

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Many parents say their children are curious about the show due to peer pressure, older siblings, social media and how it uses playground games as a key plot point.

Header image credits: Netflix

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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