Recently, there has been increasing concern expressed on many levels regarding a Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, which was released this spring. The series is based on a young-adult novel of the same name and centers around the suicide of a high school student. The intent of the producers was to help those who might be struggling with thoughts about suicide. Unfortunately, according to published reports, there appear to be many teenagers who are binge-watching the series without adult approval or guidance and support. The graphic nature of several episodes, as well as the difficult topics, is not appropriate for young teens, including middle school age students. Many educators, parents, and school counselors are now raising the alarm that the show glamorizes risky behavior, leading to potential copycat behavior. The National Association of School Counselors does not recommend this series, particularly without parental presence and support. St. Michael’s does not recommend 13 Reasons Why for any middle school students as it is rated for mature audiences. You may choose to inquire if your child or any friend has viewed the series and follow up with your own family discussions around any questions or concerns that are raised by your child.
We take the mental and emotional well being of our students very seriously and offer listening ears and support without judgment. Should we have any concerns, our faculty and staff will always reach out to parents to share concerns and partner together on behalf of a student. For more information, please refer to the National Association of School Psychologists’ website for resource recommendations for parents as well as more information about this series (www.nasponline.org).