Caleb Dustin Hunking School
13 Reasons Why
Dear Parent or Guardian,
We are writing to you to inform you of the recent release of a Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why.
Thirteen Reasons Why is a television series based on Jay Asher’s 2007 book entitled “Thirteen Reasons Why.” It is a story about a group of High School students whose friend committed suicide, and the series of events leading to the event. The book provided 13 reasons related to interactions with peers, family and school personnel justifying the teenaged lead character’s ultimate decision to end her life. The show contains graphic material and scenes depicting trauma, rape, bullying, car accidents, fights, alcoholism and suicide. These scenes may be difficult for the teenage mind to understand in an appropriate way. The show may romanticize the idea of suicide, and does not show anybody seeking appropriate help, or show teens what to do in these situations. The show appears to have been made for entertainment purposes, and does not provide any insight to the viewer on how to seek help for mental health issues or trauma, and does not address prevention of suicide.
Such series can be very difficult to watch and could easily trigger feelings of distress in vulnerable viewers. We are notifying you of this event to enable you to make informed decisions regarding viewing this series. In the event your child chooses to view this series, you may wish to discuss some of the issues raised.
Please note that this letter is not recommending viewing this series; it is intended only to provide you with information we feel is relevant to the health and wellbeing of our students. It should also be noted that Netflix opens all 13 episodes for continuous viewing so parents should consider metered viewing of the series to allow time to process and discuss themes and feelings that may arise.
It may be helpful for you to find out more about the series so that you better understand the potential impact on a teenager. If your child has read the book, watched the series, or is wondering about the series, we recommend that you talk with him/her.
The following information provides additional support and talking points https://www.jedfoundation.org/13-reasons-why-talking-points/ to help with these conversations.
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)
- Lahey Behavioral Health Crisis Team (978- 521-7777)
If you feel you need more support, please contact us in the school health office or the school guidance office. Thank you for helping us support the wellbeing of every student.
RaeAnne Hallahan, RN, BSN
Holly Deluca, Guidance Counselor
C.D. Hunking School 978-374-5787