High school administrators are contacting parents to warn them about the controversial topic of a Netflix series popular with teenagers.
The show, “13 Reasons Why,” tells the story of a high school student who kills herself and leaves tapes blaming 13 individuals for her death.
Electronic messages sent to parents of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and Haverhill High School urge parents to engage with their children over the show.
“The series is trending on a national level and is gaining much attention in our school community,” said the message from Whittier.
“There continues to be a great deal of appropriate concern around the message and potential impact of ‘13 Reasons Why,’ which is a book and now a series on Netflix,” HHS Principal Beth Kitsos wrote.
The Whittier Regional Technical High School Counseling Department offered advice to parents whose children have watched or are watching the show, including:
- Watch the show or read about it to become more knowledgeable about it
- Take time to communicate with your child about the content, what is realistic, and what the main character could have done in specific situations.
- Encourage your child to reach out to family or counselors for more support.
Critics have complained the show romanticizes suicide and fails to address mental illness, social/emotional support, or alternatives to suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8225 or text 741741.
The Lahey Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline in Haverhill is 987-521-7777.