CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- 'Red light, green light' is a popular children's game that has taken on a violent twist at one Chicopee elementary school. Chicopee school officials have alerted parents after staff at one elementary school noticed students engaging in violent, pretend behavior on the playground last week.
That behavior is apparently inspired by the popular Netflix show "Squid Game."
“It’s a little bit different than just 'red light, green light.' Was it a 'Red light, green light' then students fall down and act like they were killed as imitation of "Squid Game?"" said Chicopee Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Matthew Francis.
In the new Netflix show “Squid Game,” contestants compete in children’s games like 'Red light, green light' for the chance at a large cash prize, but the stakes are deadly.
On Monday night, families of the kindergarten through grade 2 students at Belcher Elementary School in Chicopee received a letter from the school’s principal that alerted them that kids are reenacting some scenes from the show at recess.
“I jumped on YouTube to watch the trailer and was a bit shocked at the content, the content, or the mature content of the TV show from "Squid Game,"" said Francis.
Francis told Western Mass News the school is now working with families to discourage this kind of violent play, which is believed to be fueled by social media.
“It’s the influence, negative influence of social media. We see and just not at Belcher or even our elementary schools, the influence of YouTube, of Instagram, of Snapchat,” said Francis.
One Chicopee father, Michael Keller, shared his concerns and hopes this kind of behavior does not spread to his children’s schools.
“To tell the truth, it does sound very disturbing. I think it is time to kind of step in as parents and kind of watch social media and kind of watch what they are watching,” Keller said.
He said this is something he plans to address with his own kindergartener and third grader.
“Anytime it is dealing with any violence, and he got threats, any sexual abuse, yes definitely. That is something that will be talked about and I feel that should be talked about with other children also,” Keller added.