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13 Reasons Why

Valuable Message or Gratuitous Exploitation?

Controversial+Netflix+series+raises+questions+as+well+as+eyebrows.
Controversial Netflix series raises questions as well as eyebrows.

Controversial Netflix series raises questions as well as eyebrows.

Controversial Netflix series raises questions as well as eyebrows.

Nick Evanson, Contributor

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A thirteen-episode TV show recently aired on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why,” and has sparked controversy over the last few weeks. The show is about a girl named Hannah Baker, who committed suicide and recorded her reasons for doing so on thirteen cassette tapes for thirteen individuals to listen to and pass around.

The story can be gory at times, depicting graphic scenes of suicide and occasional bloody fights. Most people view the show as they would any other television program, but some sense that it is about something deeper.

As students around Frisco High watched the show many started to talk about its meaning and how they feel about the message. Even our principal, Ms. Miller, pitched in with some ideas of her own stating, “This may contain very sensitive content for teens and young adults.” The series is rated MA (Mature Audiences) by Netflix, but would probably receive an “R” rating if distributed to movie theaters. The ratings present parents with an understandable dilemma because the series depicts high school students and issues surrounding today’s teens including the unintended consequences of social media.

Many students at FHS feel the same way. “It’s kinda weird, and at times scary,” said Blake W., a junior at FHS. Aware of the underlying message behind this series, some of the counselors at FHS are improving efforts on raising awareness of this issue and are willing to reach out to more students regarding teen suicide.

Though some would argue that “13 Reasons Why” may be a disturbing way to approach teens and young adults about suicide, there may be a silver lining. The program has been able to introduce a topic that is seen as rather sensitive and something nobody would want to talk about with their peers or teachers at school.

Though the show is fictional and the conversations are starting to die down, it is important to look at “Thirteen Reasons Why” as not just another gory TV series, but a message for schools around the world to monitor the ways students are treated and to look for the warning signs of suicide.

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13 Reasons Why