Sunday, April 30, 2017

Schools superintendent: Students are harming themselves and citing ’13 Reasons Why’ - The Washington Post

Schools superintendent: Students are harming themselves and citing ’13 Reasons Why’ - The Washington Post:

Schools superintendent: Students are harming themselves and citing ’13 Reasons Why’

Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” (Beth Dubber/Netflix)

A Florida schools superintendent told parents in a letter that his district has seen a rapid rise in at-risk behavior at elementary and middle schools — including self-harming and suicide threats —  in the wake of a graphic Netflix series about a 17-year-old girl’s suicide called “13 Reasons Why.”
The series, which debuted March 31, is based on a 2007 young adult novel and includes detailed scenes of young people harming themselves, including that of a teen who cuts her wrists with a razor in a bathtub and her blood is seen pouring out as she struggles to breathe. With the first episode released about a month ago, the series has sparked warnings from mental health counselors and others expressing concern about copycat behavior and the glorification of suicide by vulnerable young people. The National Association of School Psychologists released guidance to parents on how to lead the discussions along with other resources.
Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert M. Avossa wrote in the letter sent April 28 (which you can read in full below):
As a father of a teenager and tween, I am very concerned about a dangerous trend we have observed in our schools in recent days. School District personnel have observed an increase in youth at-risk behavior at the elementary and middle school levels to include self-mutilation, threats of suicide, and multiple Baker Act incidents. Students involved in the recent incidents have articulated associations of their at­-risk behavior to the “13 Reasons Why” Netflix series. The Netflix website tagline summarizes the series theme as follows: “After a teenage girl’s perplexing suicide, a classmate receives a series of tapes that unravel the mystery of her tragic choice.”
Asked about the superintendent’s letter, a Netflix spokesperson sent an email with the following statement from the company:
We’ve heard from our members that 13 Reasons Why has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the intense themes and difficult topics depicted in the show. We knew the material covered sensitive topics, as the book did when it was published in 2007, and we worked with mental health experts to show how these issues impact teens in real and dramatic ways. With this in mind, we gave the series a TV-MA rating, added explicit warnings on the three most graphic episodes, produced an after show, “Beyond the Reasons,”  that delves deeper Schools superintendent: Students are harming themselves and citing ’13 Reasons Why’ - The Washington Post:

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