‘Choking game’ a fad at Cowichan Valley schools

Valley principals, teachers, and parents are on the lookout for children attempting to reintroduce “the choking game” into area schools.

Valley principals, teachers, and parents are again on the lookout for children attempting to reintroduce “the choking game” into area schools.

There have been a couple of postings on local Facebook pages recently and Cowichan Valley Schools Superintendent Rod Allen said Monday that his people have also heard of incidents in two schools.

“It’s back,” he said. “This isn’t the first time the choking game has cycled through schools in B.C. Where we’re seeing incidences of it, principals are meeting with parents, and meeting with kids. In some cases, counsellors and others are involved to make sure the parents are aware of the gravity of the situation, of how dangerous it is.”

Allen said this time, Grade 6s and Grade 7s are involved but the response to timely intervention by the district seems to be working.

“In the two schools where we’ve seen it, that has pretty much put an end to it, although, of course, they can still read about it on the Internet,” Allen said.

This pastime, which involves attempting to cut off another’s oxygen supply, has been around for decades, and many hundreds of children worldwide have died from it.

According to Allen, the school district has sent out information to all principals, telling them what’s going on, steps they should be taking like meeting with parents, and making sure all the parents of the children in that classroom, or wherever the incident has happened, are aware of the situation. Information for parents is also being sent home with students, he said.

Parent Advisory Councils from Khowhemun, Tansor, and Drinkwater elementary schools did not respond to a request for comment by press time, nor did the District Parent Advisory Council. Maple Bay Elementary’s PAC declined to comment.