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May 25, 2017
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Stillwater News

Letter to middle and high school parents about Netflix series

April 28, 2017

Dear parent and guardians,

As educators, there is nothing more important than ensuring the safety and well-being of students, and the partnership with our families is critical to this effort. I am writing to raise awareness about a Netflix series called “13 Reasons Why,” which has become extremely popular among teenagers. This series portrays some issues that may be difficult for students to process without a supportive adult.

The series deals with suicide, bullying and rape, often in a graphic manner. It is based on a 2007 novel by the same name.

Many mental health organizations have become concerned that the show sensationalizes suicide, in particular. The National Association of School Psychologists is recommending that vulnerable young people do not watch the series.

You may want to find out if your child has seen the series or is aware of it so that you can best support them. Even those who may not have seen it may be impacted by conversations with peers who have.

The first link at the end of this letter will bring you to a set of talking points to help parents in conversations with children about the series. Additional resources are also provided.

Another issue that has been raised about the series is the portrayal of adults inadequately responding to the character’s need for help. This illustrates why it is so important to talk with students about this series. We want our students to know that help is always available.

Please encourage students to talk to a trusted adult at home or school if they need support or know someone who does. Teachers, school counselors, social workers, psychologists and principals are here for them.

As always, feel free to contact the school at any time if you or your child need assistance.

Thank you,

Patricia Morris
Superintendent of Schools

 

Here are some materials about this topic:

 

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