Superintendent's Message to All Parents

Dear parents and guardians,

The trending Netflix series
13 Reasons Why, based on a young adult novel, is raising concerns. The series revolves around a 17-year old high school student who takes her own life and leaves behind an audio recording for the 13 people who she says in some way were part of why she killed herself.

Producers for the show say they hope the series can help those who may be struggling with thoughts of suicide. However, the series, which many teenagers are binge watching without adult guidance and support, is raising concerns from suicide prevention experts about the potential risks posed by the sensationalized treatment of youth suicide. In fact the National Association of School Psychologists does not recommend that vulnerable youth who may easily identify with the experiences portrayed, view the program.  

While many youth are resilient and capable of differentiating between TV drama and real life, it is recommended that parents discuss the shows content, and how it can be used as a learning tool, prior to making any decision regarding viewing. I encourage parents considering allowing their children to watch the program, make plans to do so together. Along with viewing the show with your children, I encourage parents to engage in thoughtful conversations about the shows content, assisting your children with processing the issues addressed, and reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems.

The series is gaining in popularity and causing quite a bit of discussion. Regardless of your decision concerning viewing, it is recommended families, at some point, engage in meaningful discussion regarding how we treat others and adolescent suicide. School psychologists and other mental health professionals can assist and support families as well as provide resources to prevent harmful behaviors.

Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding this subject or any other topic.

Sincerely,

Dennis Muratori
Superintendent
Huron City Schools

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