Nearly a dozen parents are upset after their children were allegedly forced to play what they consider a personally invasive game at a Wisconsin middle school last week.
According to WLUK-TV, students ranging from grades five to eight said Marinette Middle School officials forced them to play a game called “Cross the Line.”
Children were reportedly asked questions including “Do your parents drink?” and “Has anyone in your family been to jail?”
One student even told the station that she and her peers were asked to say whether or not they had ever felt the urge to commit suicide or physically harm themselves.
“She asked if you ever wanted to commit suicide to step forward and then after that she asked if you ever experienced or wanted to cut, to step forward,” Sarah Maitland told the local Fox affiliate.
Word of the game has infuriated parents.
“This kind of stuff, I mean, this can’t happen again. These are our little kids. We’re parents. We should’ve been protecting them. You should’ve gave us the benefit of the doubt of contacting us,” mother Lori Saunier, said.
School officials maintain that the game, part of a bullying prevention program, was optional. Students, however, said it would be reflected in their grades if they didn’t participate.
During a meeting with the school superintendent, parents said they were essentially told their children were “lying.”
“They basically told us that all the students were lying — all the students got together and planned it out and if they weren’t lying, it was all misperceptions,” Amanda Fifarek, mother of a seventh-grade student, told WLUK. “They didn’t specifically say, ‘Do your parents do drugs?’”
School officials also said the game was meant to have a positive impact on the student body.
“The intent of the activity was to build stronger, more respectful relationships among students,” they reportedly said.
The school, which sent out a letter Friday about the game, said that in the future parents would be contacted about it ahead of time.
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