The Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, has recently become a topic of conversation among students. The series is very graphic and provides a fictional account of a teen's suicide and the tragic events and relationships with others that led to her making the choice to end her life. Of additional concern is the appearance of glorifying suicide as an act of vengeance, a means of garnering attention, or a permanent manner in which a teen could address mental health issues by ending one’s life.
As a district, we want to support discussion of the topic when it arises but have urged our staff to be mindful of when and where these conversations occur, as well as the varying ages and developmental levels of students. We are urging our educators to continue to be observant and sensitive to the emotional needs of students and refer them to our student services personnel when necessary.
We know our students are influenced by media and the conversations happening around them. Therefore, it is very important that we keep the lines of communication open with our students and families.
Below are several resources from the National Association of School Psychologists and The Jed Foundation that includes information for families, students and educators about the series and the topic of suicide.