‘Shoot the President’ party game for kids raises concern

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BEREA, Ohio -  A popular performing arts building is advertising a kid`s birthday party where participants can play "Shoot the President" with Nerf guns - and it’s raising more than a few eyebrows in Northeast Ohio.

The game was being advertised at Olmsted Performing Arts building in Berea.

A description of the party listed on the website states, “There is one president with body guards. Everyone else tries to eliminate or shoot the president.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that they chose that kind of theme only because of the atmosphere we are living in now,” Julie Berghaus told WJW.

“I wouldn’t say it was anything political or a statement about politics. I think the game was made up just for kid fun,” said Samuel Fravel, a former OPA student.

“For kids, it’s just fun, but they don’t realize what they are being taught subconsciously,” added Berghaus.

According to Adam Sheldon, director of the Baldwin Wallace Community Arts School, BW acquired OPA January 1 of this year.

“I was certainly shocked to learn this existed. It’s certainly not something that is in our institutional values at Baldwin Wallace,” Sheldon said.

They are in the process of turning the building into the Community Arts School and they were not aware that kind of party was listed on OPA’s website.

“As part of the transitioning, we are reviewing all of our communication sources and current programming. I assure you that certainly does not fit into the program of Baldwin Wallace,” added Sheldon.

Sheldon said the new Community Arts School will deliver educational programming and still host birthday parties, however any games involving Nerf guns are no longer offered.

“We apologize for the description on the website that is currently undergoing renovation. It’s not something that will be present for sure,” said Sheldon.

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