School Bans Students from Playing the ‘Assassin’ Game

July 24, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pistol [PIS-tl] (n.)  – a small gun used with only one hand
 Example: Most policemen carry at least one pistol at all times for protection.

2. blow off steam [bloh of steem] (idiom) – to do something, such as a physical activity, to get rid of strong feelings or emotions
Example: My brother often swims several laps in the pool to blow off steam after a stressful workday.

3. chase [cheys] (v.) – to follow in order to catch up with someone or something
Example: The police are chasing after the criminal.

4. lethal [LEE-thuh l] (adj.) – causing death
Example: The school bans the possession of lethal objects, such as guns and knives.

5. repeat offender  [ri-PEET uh-FEND-er] (n. phrase) – a person who repeats an offense or commits a crime repeatedly
Example: Repeat offenders may be expelled due to repeated instances of breaking school rules.


Read the text below.

A high school in New York City is warning its senior students that they could get banned from prom or graduation if they are caught participating in a popular toy-gun game on campus.

The game, called “Assassin,” is played at schools all over the US after the final examinations. It involves students shooting each other with water pistols, Nerf darts, or plastic disks until only one survivor remains.

School administrators warn that the game could turn very serious or even lethal. For example, students being chased by an “assassin” could get run over by cars. The toy guns used by the students may also be mistaken as real guns.  In addition, some students may be tempted to break the law while chasing other students.

Policeman Robert Devine remembers one incident two years ago in which a toy gun used in the Assassin game was mistaken for a real gun. A neighbor saw a student lying on the ground carrying a water gun, waiting for his target. Out of fear, the neighbor called the police, who responded by surrounding the student and pointing real firearms at him.

Due to these risks, school administrators are planning to impose serious penalties, which include banning of students from prom or graduation and even reporting to colleges and universities for repeat offenders.

However, some students still believe that the game is more fun than dangerous. In fact, some students use the game as a way to blow off steam. According to 18-year old Jeff Taylor, Assassin is just a friendly, harmless game that students do for fun.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the banning of the game “Assassin” in schools? Why or why not?
·         Do you believe that violent games really have a significant effect on the minds of young children? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you think that it is important for children to be able to play games? Why or why not?
·         How do you think does playing games affect the children’s physical and emotional growth?


July 24, 2013