Dear Parents and Guardians:
The safety, health, and social/emotional well-being of students are top priorities within LaFayette Central School District. For this reason, the district feels it is imperative to make parents and guardians aware of the controversial and trending Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.
The show, which is based on a fictional novel for young adults, tells the story of a 17-year-old girl who takes her own life. In the series, the girl leaves behind audio recordings for thirteen people who she says in some way were part of why she killed herself. It is raising concerns from suicide prevention experts because it glamorizes the idea of suicide and could lead to an increase in copycat behavior and self-harm among vulnerable students.
The content within the series is extremely graphic in nature. Topics including but not limited to suicide, bullying and drunk driving are prevalent within the show. As a result of the controversial nature of these topics, if could be difficult for your son/daughter to watch and make sense of this series.
The National Association of School Psychologists recommends that vulnerable youth not watch this series. According to the association, “Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies.” Furthermore, it is suggested that parents engage in supportive conversations with their children about this series in order to reinforce the message that suicide is not a solution to problems and that help is available. The association provides guidance for families and educators on its website:
We encourage our parents/guardians to speak with your children to determine their level of exposure to the novel or series. This could be a great opportunity to discuss some of the complicated issues and open the lines of communication so your children can express their thoughts and emotion.
Please be aware that as a school district, we have many resources available to help you and your children navigate through these types of situations. Should you feel the need for additional support or information, please contact the school and speak with one of our school counselors.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Bill O’Leary- 315-677-7849
Kristeen Cool- 315-677-7849
Bob Risavi- 315-677-3152
Ted Merante- 315-469-6991
Kelly Fredericks- 315-677-3152; 315-677-3131
Tara Powless- 315-469-6991