School News

Talking with your Kids about “13 Reasons Why”

Important Information Regarding a Netflix Series

Dear Parents/Guardians;

The well-being of our students is always a priority and keeping them safe sometimes requires a partnership between parents/guardians and school staff.

This letter is to make you aware of a recent series airing on Netflix that intermediate elementary and high school students are talking about and watching. The show is rated ages 16+ (by Common Sense Media) and is based on a book of the same name called 13 Reasons Why. It is about a young girl who commits suicide and the messages she leaves for 13 people she feels are responsible for her pain.

While the show is fictional, the series deals with some difficult issues, is extremely graphic (bullying and rape scenes), and has raised concerns about the safety of those watching it, particularly students who may already be emotionally vulnerable. To learn more about the series on Common Sense Media (a website that helps families make informed choices on movies, apps and books by providing independent reviews), click here

Whether your child is watching this series or not, they are likely hearing about it on social media or discussing it amongst peers. We invite parents to use this as an opportunity to engage in a “check in” conversation using the talking points below. Also included in this email is an attachment that contains talking points that specifically address issues that happen in the series.

Schools also have an important role in preventing youth suicide. Being aware of potential risk factors in students’ lives is vital to this responsibility. Our school administrators, teachers, staff and counsellors have been made aware of this series and the emotional impact it may have on students. Students are being encouraged to contact a school administrator or counsellor if they or their friends are feeling emotionally impacted by this series. Parents are also encouraged to contact us with any concerns about their child’s well-being.

Thank you for the role you play in supporting the well-being of our students.

David Rawnsley,
Principal