AJC Get Schooled: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide?

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AJC Get Schooled: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide?

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There are concerns about the content of a new Netflix series about teen suicide and whether it is suitable for adolescents.

While critics have generally panned the new Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why,” the drama about a teen suicide seems to be resonating with adolescent viewers.

Is that a problem given the serious nature of the topic and the copycat tendencies of some kids?

Charges In 11-Year-Old Boy’s Suicide Sends Message

Former Fulton Schools leader Robert Avossa now runs Palm Beach County schools in Florida. On Friday, he sent home a cautionary note to parents advising them the show appears to be resonating with students in disconcerting ways.

He wrote: “School district personnel have observed an increase in youth at-risk behavior at the elementary and middle school levels to include self-mutilation, threats of suicide, and multiple Baker Act incidents. Students involved in the recent incidents have articulated associations of their at­ risk behavior to the ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ Netflix series. The Netflix website tag-line summarizes the series theme as follows: ‘After a teenage girl’s perplexing suicide, a classmate receives a series of tapes that unravel the mystery of her tragic choice.’”

Some metro schools are also sending parent advisories about the series.

To read more about the issue, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog. 

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