Children as young as four are recreating violent computer games in the playground because they do not realise they are make-believe, East Riding head teachers have warned.
Heads are warning schools are fighting a losing battle with children staying up late to play on XBox and PlayStation, leaving them tired for lessons.
Oh no! If they can’t pay attention in lessons, a significant proportion will be illiterate and innumerate just like….well, just like those generations that didn’t have access to multimedia distractions.
What was the excuse back then?
South Cave Primary head John Killeen said: “Head teachers are increasingly aware of children playing and being exposed to inappropriate software and films.
“These youngsters are replicating games that they have seen and that they are exposed to.
“It could be combat, kung fu attacks, that they see people doing.
“They think they can replicate that in a play situation.”
Mr Killeen was among East Riding heads who raised the issue at National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) conference.
Ah, I see. It’s National Teachers Grandstanding And Scaremongering Season. Again…
John Nielsen, head of Barmby Moor Primary, said schools have “grave concerns” about children being exposed to harmful and inappropriate material… He said heads have found parents were often unwilling or unable to set boundaries in the use of games and the kind of films pupils watch.
Which, while worrying, is really not something that should be a concern of the school, other than to point out that they are doing their best and it’d be nice if little Duwayne and Shahneece could keep awake for geography.
Preferably at a PTA evening, though in some areas, it’s doubtful that enough parents would show up to make one viable.
But – and there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there? – it seems they want something more than that…
Adrienne Palmer, head of Mount Pleasant CE Junior School, Market Weighton, said…”My youngest pupils are seven and they are well aware of what’s available and half of them regularly play these games.
“We don’t want to be Draconian about it but we do think children need to be protected.
“They are not old enough or mature enough to know what is appropriate and what is not.”
But you are, to be the deciding factor for what is ‘appropriate’ for someone else’s children?
Mr Killeen, who is branch secretary of the NAHT, said the conference backed East Riding heads’ calls for clearer child protection guidance from the Government.
Meaning…what? Surely not this sort of arrant, interfering, nannying nonsense?
He said: “We are not asking for a nanny state where we tell parents how to run their lives.”
Clearly, that’s just what some of you are asking for!
“We are asking parents to be more aware of what their children are doing.
We want to work with parents and the Government, asking parents to be more responsible for monitoring their children’s activities.”
What if those parents are aware, have made the judgement that their children can handle the responsibility, and don’t feel that they need any interfering teacher poking their nose in?