JCPS urges parents to talk about '13 Reasons Why' with students

JCPS urges parents to talk about '13 Reasons Why' with students

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - JCPS is asking parents to talk with their children who may have seen the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

The series is about a teenager in high school who commits suicide, leaving behind 13 tapes, or 13 Reasons Why, she decided to end her life.

Each tape is a person, and the tape goes through what each person did to her, whether it was bullying her, committing a sexual assault on her or another person, or just ignoring the situation all together.

JCPS is encouraging any parent who knows their child has watched the series, or mentioned 13 Reasons Why, to discuss it with them. JCPS encourages parents who have not seen the series to watch it, or watch it with their children.

13 Reasons Why may not be appropriate for some viewers, as it is graphic and depicts scenes of suicide, rape, sexual assault, alcohol use and violence.

"We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series," the National Association of School Psychologists said. "Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies."

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JCPS has listed the following as some talking points for parents who may want to talk with their children about 13 Reasons Why.

  • Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
  • If they exhibit any of the warning signs above, don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
  • Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  • Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
  • Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers.

Anyone without access to Netflix can view parts of the series on YouTube.

If you would like to read more on how to prevent teen suicide, click here.

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