13 Reasons Why, Season 2

Posted on 05/10/2018
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Dear Families,

As educators, we sometimes come across situations outside our direct purview where we believe we can provide perspective and support that will help our families. The Netflix series 13 Reasons Why is one of these circumstances and the second season of this series will be released on Netflix on May 18, 2018.

13 Reasons Why is a series of thirteen episodes, based on the book by Jay Asher, that tells the fictional story of a student who dies from suicide, leaving behind recordings outlining treatment she received from others that led to her ultimate decision. The series graphically depicts sexual assault as well as the suicide itself and includes many additional social issues, such as communication and support between friends, bullying, the “bro code,” rape culture, and more. The second season is an extension of the first season and the book.

A number of mental health experts, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the JED Foundation, have expressed strong concerns about the messages the show sends and the potential risks posed by the sensationalized and romanticized presentation of suicide. They recommend that young people who are at all vulnerable to depression or suicidal ideation do not watch this series.

I wanted to ensure you that we are aware of the show, its content, and the potential concerns with young people watching this show, especially alone. If your child does watch the show, there are many resources available to provide talking points for open, supportive discussions. Click on any of these links for additional resources:

The National Association of School Psychologists: Resource of Educators and Families

Nationwide Children’s Hospital: 13 Reasons Why: Should parents be concerned about this Netflix series?

The JED Foundation: Talking Points for Families and Educators about 13 Reasons Why 

MindPeace Organization

As additional support, the counseling staff of Indian Hill Schools is available to meet with any parent or student who would like to have further discussion about the series and its content.  If you would like to arrange a time to meet with your child’s school counselor, please contact the building’s counseling staff directly.

Primary School: Jennifer Oden  (513) 272-4754

Elementary School: Sarah Kellett (513) 272-4714

Middle School: Kathy Yeager and Nick Carpenter (513) 272-4642

High School: Nollis Cottrell, Kyle Crowley, Donita Jackson, Lindsay Kearns (513) 272-4566

If you have found that your child is watching 13 Reasons Why and struggling with suicidal concerns, our school counselors are always available to provide non-emergency assistance. In addition, Children’s Hospital Therapists, Rachel McCoy and Rebecca Lammers, are onsite at Indian Hill Schools to provide additional support.

If you would have an immediate youth safety/suicide concern, contact 911 or the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Psychiatric Intake Response Center at (513) 636-4124.

We hope this information provides an opportunity to remind your children about the importance of seeking support from you and from other caring adults in their lives when they are feeling overwhelmed. While many teens and young adults are resilient and capable of differentiating between a TV drama and real life, engaging in thoughtful conversations with them about the show is vital. Often teenagers call on each other as trusted friends when dealing with these situations but they should also be encouraged to enlist the help of an adult. Our faculty, staff and administration are available if such a need arises. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s principal or school counselor.

Sincerely,

Dr. Melissa Stewart
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning