POLICE were called to a Southampton school when a ten-year-old girl was found with a knife.

The “disturbing” incident is believed to have been inspired by an online video game involving a homicidal Japanese cartoon character.

Teachers say they believe the child was “naively” reenacting the game and excluded her from school.

But parents have criticised the head’s decision, saying more should be done to ensure safety at the school.

Speaking to the Echo one parent of a child in the same year group said she is keeping her child at home until she is reassured the school is safe.

She said: “Surely a knife of any sort is a dangerous weapon and more action should be taken.

“The police and school are not highlighting the seriousness of this but I also have to consider my children who attend the school but are off until I’m assured they are safe.”

The parent went on to say that images of the child were posted on a video sharing app called TikTok but later removed.

She added: “There are also children in breakfast club at eight am so this child would have been near other children with the knife in a bag before school were made aware.”

It is understood the child had been trying to recreate Yandere, a “stealth game” a in which a female character stalks a boy and secretly eliminates any girl who has a crush on him, while maintaining the image of an innocent schoolgirl.

A letter from head teacher Karen Mellor sought to reassure parents that the knife had been removed quickly.

Writing to parents Ms Mellor said: “The implement was removed as soon as it came to the attention of a member of staff, which was before school started and before many of our children arrived on site.

“We take these matters very seriously and have followed all the correct protocols and have taken proportionate sanctions against the pupil.”

Ms Mellor added: “The police investigation has led us to believe that the child naively brought the knife to school in a misguided attempt to roleplay an online game.”

She added that police will be going into the school to talk to children about online safety.

A Southampton City Council spokesperson said: “While this was very disturbing for pupils and staff at the time, we are reassured that this was an isolated incident that was resolved quickly and safely. We have communicated this to parents and pupils and encouraged them to talk to the staff at the school if they have any concerns.

“The safety of pupils and staff continues to be our top priority and we will be working closely with the police, multi-agency safeguarding hub team and the school’s governors to ensure that pupils and parents take appropriate action to ensure online safety.”

Hampshire police confirmed that they were advised by Newlyns that a 10-year-old girl had brought a knife into the school on Tuesday.

“We have fully supported the school in the actions they have taken since, and through our partners, continue to promote the importance in educating children on the dangers of knives and knife crime,” said a spokesperson.