13 Reasons Why: Warnings for Parents and Help for Students

I am a guidance counselor in a high school, and perhaps that’s part of what inspired me to watch the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. This show has captured the attention of teenagers, which is ironic because the show carries a TV-MA rating – TV Parental Guidelines’ warning that the content may be unsuitable for children under 17. Parents of teens need to be aware of what their students are watching!

Although I don’t have the time to personally write a deep and thought provoking response to this TV series, I felt it was important to share some links here that I hope will be helpful. For parents who want to know what the show is all about, this can help you make an informed decision about whether or not this is something that you will watch &/or allow your children to watch. (If you do decide to allow your students to watch it, there are further suggested action steps for you as well). For students who may be struggling with thoughts of depression or suicide, know that there is hope and help.

Suicide is NOT the answer!

Call the Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868.

https://www.kidshelpphone.ca

katherine-langford-13-reasons-why

Netflix 13 Reasons Why: What Viewers Should Consider:

The Jed Foundation: Recently, Netflix released Thirteen Reasons Why… a fictional story that is meant to be a cautionary tale. It tells the story of a high school student who experiences a series of terrible events-many of which are perpetrated by her classmates and friends. Hannah has died by suicide but before she died she made a series of tapes explaining what each person in her circle has done to hurt her…

Because the show takes up issues related to suicide and sexual assault, there have been strong reactions from many viewers along with several professional and advocacy groups… the depiction and circumstances of the suicide have raised concerns because there are several elements in the story that are inconsistent with safe messaging guidelines around handling portrayals of suicide in media and works of fiction.

To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

Schools Warning Parents About Netflix’s Series 13 Reasons Why:

People.com: Schools across the country are issuing warnings to parents about Netflix’s latest original series, 13 Reasons Why, over concern that the breakout teen drama could glamorize teen suicide. So where does the concern lie with the critically well-received show – and why are schools getting involved?

To read the rest of this article, click HERE.

  • See also: How to Talk to Your Child About Suicide and Bullying After Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why: To read this article, click HERE.

13 Reasons Why TV Series Review:

Focus on the Family’s Plugged In: Is it a well-intended show? Yes, I think it’s fair to say that it is, as far as that sentiment goes. 13 Reasons Why encourages viewers to really examine their own lives and how they treat people. That said, shows like this can also have unintended consequences.

Those familiar with the issue of suicide know that the act itself can be strangely and sadly contagious. If someone commits suicide in a given school, the odds go up that someone else will attempt it, too. Why? There are lots of potential factors… But in the emotionally charged world of adolescence, suicide can feel romantic. It can be a shout for attention. It can be revenge.

13 Reasons Why may, unintentionally, romanticize suicide for some students, even though that’s certainly not the show’s intent. The tricky thing about stories like this one is that, for some, it might be just the right message at the right time. But for someone else, the intended message could also be received in a tragically different way.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

The JED Foundation, a non-profit that aims to prevent suicide in teens and young adults, has developed a series of talking points for children and adults here (and below) and has a hotline number 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

13 Reasons Why

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: https://www.save.org/13-reasons-why/

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About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. Guidance Counsellor. High School Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee!
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