- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2014

SpongeBob SquarePants, the Nickelodeon cartoon character who works as a fry cook at the bottom of the sea, corrupts the young minds of children and promotes hooligan behavior, according to Kazakhstan’s education ministry.

The Central Asian republic regards the “self-absorbed” sea sponge as a bully, who “regularly inflicts violence on others in his community and seems to enjoy what he does,” the New York Daily News reported.

Zabira Orazalieva, who oversees children’s rights at the Kazakh Education and Science Ministry, said: “SpongeBob beats up his neighbor, misbehaves and enjoys that.

“This hooligan behavior stays in the child’s minds. They [see SpongeBob] as a role model and try to re-enact [his behavior] in real life,” Ms. Orazalieva reportedly said.

She went on to blast cable channels like Nickelodeon and France’s TiJi for running cartoons that promote a “substandard educational message,” as well as parents who let children watch the cartoons unsupervised, The Moscow Times reported.

It remained unclear whether the education ministry advocated any censorship against SpongeBob.

It is not the first time the mischievous toon has been a target of controversy.

In 2012 conservatives in Ukraine called for SpongeBob to be banned on the grounds it promoted homosexuality, The Times reported.

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