Violent games blamed for choking
A MARCOOLA father has warned other parents about the dangers of homicidal video games and blood sports after learning his 13-year-old son choked a classmate unconscious.
The father said he had no idea his son was engaged in a dangerous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)-inspired “game” called tap-out until the incident at Coolum State High last week.
Wishing to stay anonymous but determined to get his message across, the father said he had now banned his son from watching bloodthirsty video games and movies, as well as the popular UFC.
He urged other parents to do the same, having blamed the brutal mixed marital arts sport and ultra violent video games and movies for his son’s behaviour.
“My main message is keep an eye on what kids are actually taking into their system,” he said.
“They’re developing young adults and this (violent behaviour) is not a character trait you want them to grow into and carry forward into adulthood.”
The impassioned plea came as Associate Professor of Education Michael Nagel, a University of the Sunshine Coast-based child behaviour specialist, warned that a growing number of studies were drawing a link between aggressive behaviour in children and violent media.
The Daily revealed on Wednesday that Coolum State High had suspended the Marcoola father’s son after the incident in an unsupervised classroom on November 3.
Tap-out involves a student placing a chokehold on another student from behind.
As in the UFC, the attacker is meant to stop choking when the person in the chokehold taps him.
In the Coolum State High incident, which Education Queensland said it was investigating, 13-year-old Zac Andrew was rendered unconscious and hit his head hard on the ground.
Zac’s parents, John-Paul and Kylie, blasted the school for not calling an ambulance and claimed it had tried to cover up the incident.
The Marcoola couple also said Zac was attacked, although the father of the other boy claimed Zac was a willing participant in the game, based on what the school had told him.
While the father labelled it a “stupid game” that went horribly wrong, he said the school was right to suspend his son for 10 days, and he apologised for the grief the boy had caused.
Sunshine Coast-based mixed martial arts promoter Chris McMahon was shocked to learn Year 8 kids were playing tap-out.
“I’m pretty horrified to hear something like that going on, and it’s not a game. It’s something very serious,” he said.
A UFC spokeswoman said the organisation was concerned by the Coolum State High incident, but it appeared to be an isolated incident more closely resembling school bullying.