A HEADTEACHER has sent a letter to parents after becoming aware of “extremely concerning behaviour” of pupils, some as young as six, which he puts down to a violent video game.
Pupils at Coed-y-Brain Primary School, in Llanbradach, have been, according to head teacher Morian Morgan, “initiating games that involve simulating rape and sexual intercourse” and “having detailed discussion of drug use”.
Staff at the school discovered that the worrying behaviour was a result of children coming into contact with Grand Theft Auto, or GTA, which follows the dark underworld of America’s biggest cities.
Its latest instalment, Grand Theft Auto V, is thought to be one of the best-selling video games of all time, having sold more than 32 million copies worldwide.
It is certified for people over 18.
The letter to parents also said children were “acting out scenes from the game which include the strongest of sexual swear words”, “having conversations” about sexual acts and “play acting extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury”.
Mr Morgan said the letter was simply a way of making parents aware of this trend rather than criticising them for the children’s actions.
He said: “I sent out the letter with some trepidation but I’m pleased I sent it because all the comments, as far as I’m aware, have been very supportive.
“Until I went online and checked the content of this game, I thought it was just a bit of swearing and some shooting and I think some of the parents will tell you that they have been equally naive.
“But I must stress it’s not a matter of me condemning parents at all.”
Mr Morgan said staff approached some of the children to ask them where they had seen some of the behaviour.
He added: “We noticed it building up. It used to be when people watched TV programmes – we probably did it ourselves with cowboys and Indians.
“It became more concerning because this newest version (GTA V was released in September last year) seems to be even more shocking than the previous games.
“The youngest child showing this kind of behaviour was a six-year-old but that is unusual. It was very much a minority re-enacting these acts.”
Caerphilly council said it was a matter for the school to deal with internally.