DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. - A popular Netflix television show that depicts a teenager’s suicide has prompted school officials in Wappingers to issue a safety message to parents.
On Tuesday, officials with the Wappingers Central School District issued an advisory to families regarding the original series “13 Reasons Why,” which is based on a young adult novel of the same name by author Jay Asher, but contains mature themes.
Officials noted that the show contains subject matter that includes graphic depictions of rape, substance abuse, cyber bullying, voyeurism and suicide, which may not be suitable for students. It's been noted that while many middle and high school students may have seen some or all of the episodes, it is produced by Selena Gomez, and it may be reaching too wide an audience of younger students.
The district stated that it will not use "13 Reasons Why in the classroom or as a part of formal instruction. The warning comes on the heels of several similar alerts that have been issued by Hudson Valley educators.
"Some of you may be aware of the Netflix series, '13 Reasons Why,' which has recently become very popular. Our District will not be utilizing this series in our classrooms as part of formal instruction. Although this recent series contains controversial and delicate subject matter for schools, suicide has had a tremendous impact on youth and their families. By no means are we trying to imply how to parent your child. However, as a District, it is important that if students are watching this series at home, you become aware of it and engage in a conversation that is healthy to help your child while they view this series.
In an effort to assist parents, the district has made resources available from the National Association of School Psychologists , which provides guidelines and information for parents. Other informational links can be found here:
- 13 Reasons Why Tip Sheet from SAVE and the JED Foundation ,
- 13 Reasons Why - JED’s Point of View ,
- National Association of School Psychologists’ Guidance for Families and Educators ,
- 7 Essential Discussion Questions for 13 Reasons Why ,
- Risk Factors and Warning Signs - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ,
- Preventing Youth Suicide Brief Facts (also available in Spanish ) and Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips or Parents and Educators .