School blames Fortnite for kids coming to class tired - WNEM TV 5

School blames Fortnite for kids coming to class tired

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A school is blaming a popular video game for students coming to class tired.

Richfield Public School Academy said its students have come to school "extremely tired" because they are staying up late playing Fortnite.

The Flint school is asking parents to make sure their children go to bed on time.

"It is a very important time of year and we need them well rested," the school said.

"Yesterday I noticed we had 29 kids absent and 21 tardies. And that's just in third through fifth [grade]," Richfield Principal Nicole Pacheco said.

She said the culprit is Fortnite.

"The kids were walking in and talking about what level they were on and saying they were up all night playing. And those are my students that were taking M-STEPs that day," Pacheco said.

Over the past few days students have been coming to class late or not even showing up because of Fortnite, Pacheco said.

It is a survival game that has been described as Minecraft meets the Hunger Games.

Fans like fifth grader Te'Shawn Willis love it.

"I like in the middle when they start dancing and the tornado comes to get you," Te'Shawn said.

Pacheco said it comes at a bad time because students are supposed to be taking state standardization tests.

"My teachers are held accountable based on these test scores. So, we had to do something," Pacheco said.

She estimates nearly half of all the third graders at her school play the game.

"Keep an eye on how long they're playing it. My son plays the game, but I'm making sure to monitor it," said Santana Jones, fifth grade teacher.

Parents need to be proactive, Jones said.

"We need to be aware and be like, 'hey, we go to bed at this particular time because we need to be prepared and ready for school,'" Jones said.

Pacheco said fourth and fifth graders are next to take the M-Steps at her school. She hopes parents and students will take note.

"I hope this brings attention to it. I know my post had 1,500 views yesterday, which is huge. I hope to keep spreading the word," Pacheco said.

The game is free, but players are able to buy items like outfits and dance moves for their characters. It is so popular it made $223 million in the month of March.

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