High schools in America recommended the banning of "13 Reasons Why" for teen viewing. Some school officials sent letters of warning to parents about the young adult series on Netflix. They told parents they don't recommend the show to a teen audience because of its dangerous theme.
The "13 Reasons Why" series presents a story of a teenage girl who kills herself after being bullied and raped. She leaves behind 13 different tapes for the people she believes are responsible for her depression and decision to take her life. The show is an adaptation of a 2007 best-selling book release of the same title from author Jay Asher.
Sanborn Regional High School in New Hampshire issued its parents' warning after school counselors evaluated "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix. They assessed the series "romanticizes suicide" and had "no healthy alternative to kids struggling with emotional problems," as per New England Cable News.
The Stephen Gaynor School in a posh New York neighborhood also issued a warning to parents. "We do not recommend that your teen watches the series, however, if your teen is going to watch the series, we encourage you to watch it together and to discuss your reactions," the school stated in its letter, as per New York Post.
The San Mateo-Foster City School District in the Bay Area also sent parents letters before the spring break warning about "13 Reasons Why." It cited parents should be aware of the show's content and oversee their children's viewing habits during the short vacation, as per NBC Bay Area.
Mental health professionals assessed the show as well and told The Washington Post that while it raised awareness on teen suicide, the series mishandled the message. The concern was the show could trigger copycat suicides from teens who are actual victims of bullying and rape.
"Young people are not that great at separating fiction from reality," Dan Reidenberg of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) said. "That gets even harder to do when you're struggling with thoughts."
Experts also advised parents and teens to seek help from proper channels if they need help. Aside from calling 911, teens struggling with issues can join SAVE's Grief Support system or reach out via the National Suicide Prevention hotline 1-800-273-8255.