Series on teen suicide prompts statement from North Scott Schools

ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) - A popular online series about a teen suicide is prompting school officials to issue a warning to parents. Netflix is running the series, 13 Reasons Why, based on a novel about 13 tapes a girl leaves behind explaining why she killed herself. She blames bullying, rape and other negative encounters with her peers.

Some experts are concerned that the program could be seen as glorifying suicide and potentially influencing those who are at risk.

In a letter to parents, the North Scott School Superintendent Joe Stutting is urging parents to talk to their kids. Below is the letter:

Dear Parents/Guardians:
I am reaching out to you about the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. Based on a novel, this wildly popular show follows a group of high school students after their classmate, Hannah, takes her own life. The series focuses on 13 tapes Hannah left behind, each outlining one reason she killed herself and the role her peers played in her choice to end her life. The show also includes themes centered on bullying, rape and drunken driving.
While parents/guardians are best suited to determine appropriate viewing content for their children, I do feel a responsibility to share some resources with you to further your awareness and enable you to engage in conversations with your child. It has been reported that students as young as elementary are watching the series, often without adult supervision. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has released considerations for educators and families about 13 Reasons Why. The link below from NASP also includes safe messaging for students. Please use the resource to become more aware of this series and engage in open to dialogue with your child. Please feel free to contact Student Services at your child's building if you have any questions.

Joe Stutting, Superintendent

National Association of School Psychologists