Lewis Cass Schools has become aware of the new series on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why,” which
debuted on March 31 st , 2017 and is trending nationally as well as in our school community. While the series is
fictional, as we all know, young people may have a hard time discerning fiction from reality. The reason we are
bringing this to your attention is we wanted you to be aware that the series is generating a lot of conversations among
our students, and thought you may want to know this information. The story centers around a young girl, who leaves
behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says play a role in her decision to take her own life. The 13 hour
series depicts themes of suicide, bullying, sexual assault, drug use and other social issues. While the show has
become very popular, mental health advocates have raised concerns over the messages conveyed. This is
especially true during the month of May as it can be a time of stress and many added pressures for our young people
as school is winding down, finals and exams approaching, graduation and sometimes the unknown of what lies
Attached is a three-page resource from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) designed
specifically for parents and educators on this topic. Also included is a reference from the Suicide Awareness Voices
Education (SAVE) foundation on the series. Finally, we have created a list of local area resources for you and your
student should the need arise in which you want further assistance. We hope that you will find these resources to be
both valuable and informational. A few important points from the NASP include the following:
- The National Association of School Psychologists does NOT recommend that vulnerable youth view this series.
This is particularly important for adolescents who are isolated, struggling, or vulnerable to suggestive images and
storylines. The series is rated MA (Mature Audience Only) by the Motion Picture Association.
- While older teens can differentiate between TV drama and reality, parents should consider watching the series
- with them, and engage in thoughtful conversations to help process the issues addressed.
- Review the warning signs of suicide and other resources provided by NASP.
- Experts feel that the series may be romanticizing suicide and not encouraging students to seek help from family
- or counselors.
- Reinforce suicide is not a solution. It is an irreversible choice regarding a temporary problem.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800- 273-TALK or text 741741.Suicide Facts:
- More people die from suicide compared to all other death types
- Occurs every 13 minutes nationally
- 19% of teens contemplate suicide and 11% attempt suicide
- Indiana rate 14.25 vs National 12.93 (per 100,000)
- Starts as early as 8 years old
- There is help and hope.
Southeastern School Corporation is a resource for your family. We stand ready to help and by partnering together we can help to protect the emotional well-being of the students within our community. If you believe your child may be struggling, please don’t hesitate to contact us.