'13 Reasons Why' not appropriate for school-age kids, DeKalb schools say

The series '13 Reasons Why' portrays a teen girl who commits suicide.

DECATUR, Ga – The controversial Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” is not appropriate for school-age children, according to a letter sent home on Friday to DeKalb school parents.

“Many students are watching it with or without adult supervision,” wrote Superintendent Stephen Green.

“13 Reasons Why” portrays a young woman who is experiencing turmoil and who dies by suicide at the end of the series. The Netflix series has sparked controversy nationwide over its subject matter.

“Teen suicide is an important topic that requires everyone’s attention,” Green said. “The DeKalb County School District believes times like these are teachable moments. As educators, both at school and in the home, now is the time to speak to our young men and women about this important issue and to provide the support for any child that is facing this challenge.”

Green’s letter also provided a list of suicide-prevention resources and services that are available to parents and kids.

MORE: '13 Reasons Why:" An 11Alive discussion

Here is the full text of Green’s letter:

“Dear DeKalb County School District families and partners,

“We are writing out of concern after learning that teens and pre-teens both here and across the nation have been watching a Netflix television series, “13 Reasons Why,” that portrays a young woman who is experiencing turmoil and who dies by suicide at the end of the series. The series is not appropriate viewing for school-age children, and many students are watching it with or without adult supervision. 

“Teen suicide is an important topic that requires everyone’s attention. The DeKalb County School District believes times like these are teachable moments. As educators, both at school and in the home, now is the time to speak to our young men and women about this important issue and to provide the support for any child that is facing this challenge.

“We encourage parents and caregivers to have frequent conversations with students to provide opportunity for dialogue regarding topics of concern to them. Students should feel that they have persons with whom they can speak, when needed. We also suggest that parents and caregivers monitor television programming of students. 

“Our school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers and other school staff stand ready to assist with connections to professionals who may help. If you are concerned about your student or believe your student needs immediate help, please reach out to:

  • Georgia Crisis & Access Line-1-800-715-4225 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number- 1-800-273-8255
  • DeKalb Community Service Board 770- 457-5867

“Thank you for your continued support of the DeKalb County School District and the children of this community.

“Regards,

“R. Stephen Green, Ed.D Superintendent of Schools”

 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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