District Response to 13 Reasons Why Netflix Series

Dear Parents,

There has been a lot of concern around the message and potential impact of 13 Reasons Why, a series on Netflix based on a 2007 book by Jay Asher. The series revolves around 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says in some way were part of why she killed herself. Each tape recounts painful events in which one or more of the 13 individuals played a role and glamorizes suicide. The content is rated TV-MA, which designates “unsuitable for children under the age of 17.” The series includes graphic scenes involving drugs, bullying, rape and suicide. See link for more information about content IMDB Parent Guide. Netflix has announced that a second season is in production.

Greg Hudnall, Executive Director of Hope4Utah and a well-known suicide expert in the state of Utah said, “the series is harmful for impressionable teens. In the long run, it can cause more trauma and more pain for a child.” His concern is based on the following things:
The Netflix Series:

  • Offers no solutions to problems and challenges
  • Does not educate people about suicide
  • Could lead to more trauma and death

We strive to take a very proactive approach when it comes to suicide prevention in our schools and community and we’d like to share some resources that are available to help.

The message we want to share is that help is available. If you have further questions or concerns please contact your school’s Counselor or Social Worker.