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Does Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" Romanticize Teen Suicide? Schools Warn Parents.

Does Netflix's

A new young adult series on Netflix has some schools worried enough to send letters home warning parents to use their discretion when deciding to let their teens watch “13 Reasons Why.” The show, which is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA book of the same name, chronicles the audio recordings of a suicidal teen who left the story behind for her classmates to hear before killing herself.

People reports about the new series and why some adults feel that it sends a romanticized message about teen suicide that may be detrimental to young viewers. “13 Reasons Why” was produced by Selena Gomez and deals with very serious subjects like body shaming, rape, underage drinking, suicide and sexual assault. A writer for the show, Nic Sheff, feels that critics of the show are getting it wrong and it is important that teens and parents deal with these issues rather than banning the show from the home. He says, “Facing these issues head-on—talking about them, being open about them—will always be our best defense against losing another life. I’m proud to be a part of a television series that is forcing us to have these conversations, because silence really does equal death.”

But schools are not so sure that the show is appropriate for teens, especially if they don’t have a parent around to discuss some of the graphic themes. A number of public schools have sent letters home warning parents about the show. And the National Association of School Psychologists put out a public statement saying of the Netflix series, “Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies. They may easily identify with the experiences portrayed and recognize both the intentional and unintentional effects on the central character.”

And some Maryland middle schools are giving parents a heads up that their kids may already be watching the show and to make sure they have an adult present to discuss the subject matter. The letter reads, “Mental health professionals are concerned that adolescents, watching without an adult available to process the themes and their own feelings, could be at an increased risk of self-harm. We would be particularly concerned for any student who may be struggling emotionally and views the series without the opportunity to process the content.”

Have you or your teen watched Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why”?

Do you think schools are right to warn parents about the strong subject matter? And should teens be viewing this show?

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  • mrobin77 By mrobin77
    04.28.17  

    Absolutely not!!! It portrays how hard it is to be a teenager. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to go back to that emotional rollercoaster full of evil ruthless kids!! Bullying is a way more serious issue than people realize.

  • Slimber17 By Slimber17
    05.03.17  

    This show demonstrates to everyone how difficult it is to be a teenager. I have had so many discussions with teenagers and adults about this show and many believe that this is a great way to process with teenagers about the struggles they face. Often times in life experiences shape your emotional and social well being. The show focuses on the fact that as humans we need to be to kind to one another always and that it is important to communicate how you are feeling.

  • noodleruby By noodleruby
    05.03.17  

    I watched the entire series and am young enough to say it's a very accurate portrayal of what I experienced recently. I was in a dark place in high school, and when I reached out for help, there was nobody. It's real, and every story like this needs to be told.

  • noodleruby By noodleruby
    05.03.17  

    I watched the entire series and am young enough to say it's a very accurate portrayal of what I experienced recently. I was in a dark place in high school, and when I reached out for help, there was nobody. It's real, and every story like this needs to be told.

  • wovenbirds By wovenbirds
    05.07.17  

    I don't think that it "romanticizes suicide" at all. I don't see how anyone could even think that....

  • kyrie01 By kyrie01
    05.17.17  

    We all know its hard and that the culture out there is a vast desolate wasteland. But it also glorifies participating in that desolation. This only reinforces the problem.

  • AnaSegui By AnaSegui
    06.07.17  

    I think it all depends on the child and the parent should educate their children about television shows that they're just an example of what could happen.

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