This letter is to make you aware of the popular Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why.
Within the last week or so, our staff have been made aware of a new series that is being shown on Netflix which has the potential to glamorize suicide and has a large amount of graphic content and as such, the PORTA District would like to make sure parents are aware. The story revolves around a High School student who leaves behind 13 tape recordings telling why she took her own life. Her friends try to piece together Hannah's final days in the series, "Thirteen Reasons Why".
After hearing from students about the series, several PORTA Staff Members have taken the time to watch the series and feel that, young people and teens could interpret the message that suicide is a viable and/or romanticized option. The show’s content is extremely graphic, with disturbing scenes in each episode, which may be difficult for young impressionable minds to watch and process in an appropriate manner.
What has become evident to our staff is that the show mentions no behavioral or treatment options that were or could have been offered to Hannah, it glamorizes Suicide and there is no notion of teens seeking help for any indicators that might lead to suicidal tendencies. Additionally, there are several scenes depicting rape, bullying, alcoholism and suicide in which teens do not seek help or any kind of resource. Finally, the graphic portrayal of Hannah's suicide is/was disturbing to the degree that staff have reported the scenes cause them to lose sleep at the thought of young impressionable teens witnessing the event.
While we cannot determine what parents allow students to watch or read we caution everyone to monitor programming students are watching and if you feel watching "Thirteen Reasons Why" is appropriate please use the opportunity to discuss a very complicated issue with your children. However, as the time passes staff members will continue to monitor conversations and actions within the school walls and as we become concerned about any student or students parents will be notified as a step to insure the safety of our children.
We also encourage parents to research the series to fully understand the graphic nature and the potential harm it could cause your child.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter. Should you feel the need for more information or support, please contact your child’s principal.
As a way to begin a conversation with your child, the Jed Foundation offers talking points associated with "Thirteen Reasons Why", Please feel free to click the link below to begin your dialog with your child.