District Statement on "13 Reasons Why"

District Statement on "13 Reasons Why"
Posted on 05/03/2017

Dear Clyde-Savannah Families,

As you know, the emotional and physical health of our students is of critical importance to us and it is a priority for us to reach out to everyone when we are made aware of potential risk factors that may impact our students. We feel it is important to address the media your child may be consuming and stress how critical it is that parents and guardians are aware of what is trending.

The purpose of this message is to make you aware, if you are not already, of “13 Reasons Why,” a television series on Netflix based on the popular Young Adult novel by Jay Asher. The premise of the series follows a female high school student who takes her own life. The character in question leaves behind audio messages to those who “caused” her to make this permanent choice.

It is important to mention that Netflix original programs are less censored than traditional TV. Additionally, instant access to Netflix make it more likely students could watch without adult supervision.

While this story is meant to be a cautionary tale, the subject matter of this particular series may be perceived as disturbing for young people. If your child is familiar with this series, we encourage you to engage in a conversation that allows your child to express his or her feelings. This is an opportunity for parents and educators to seize a teachable moment regarding topics the series covers such as friendships, trust, dating and sex, the toxic nature of gossip, alcohol and drug use, mental health, and suicide prevention.

Please click on the resource document from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) that provides guidance and cautionary advice regarding this series.

Netflix provides a list of crisis resources for viewers which may be found at http://13reasonswhy.info/, and has added strong “viewer warnings” before each episode. We recommend that parents and guardians continue to be vigilant in monitoring the media your child is exposed to.

Please contact your child’s principal or counselor for additional resources, questions, or comments. As always, our District’s mental health professionals are available to speak with your child should they need additional in-school support.

Michael C. Hayden
Superintendent of Schools