Dear Middle School Parent Community,
It has come to my attention that many of our middle school students are watching a series on Netflix titled, “13 Reasons Why.” The series revolves itself around a girl who commits suicide and a classmate who receives “tapes” which unravel the mystery of her tragic choice.
This show, which was released on Netflix on March 31st, is based on a book that was published by Jay Asher. While the book is listed as young adult fiction, the Netflix series does include scenes involving the topics of cyberbullying, underage consumption of alcohol, body image, sexual assault, sexting, and suicide.
Please be aware that the material is intended for mature audiences and, from what we hear, can be graphic and upsetting. Although some middle school students can handle these images, there are concerns that some of our early adolescent students watching this series will struggle with the topics. As always, please continue to monitor what your students are viewing online and through streaming media. Should you become aware that your student is watching this program, it could be an opportunity to open the lines of communication about important, yet mature and complex topics.
I encourage all middle school parents to become more informed about the content and the themes raised in the show, “13 Reasons Why”. The following resources provide background infomation about the show and ways parents can talk with their children about the difficult topics from in the program:
- Review of the show “13 Reasons Why” by Common Sense Media
- Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. Common Sense Media helps families make smart media choices by offering the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books, and music. The Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.
- Attached is a document titled, “Talking Points for 13 Reasons Why”, from the Jed Foundation, a national organization working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide, which provides suggestions for talking to kids about suicide. 13 Reasons Why Talking Points
- IMBD plot synopsis for the series: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1837492/
- Watch the trailer for the Netflix program: https://www.netflix.com/title/80117470
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. If, now or ever, you have a concern about your child, please reach out to his or her counselor and we will work together to provide caring, competent and immediate support and guidance.
John Glenn Middle School