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13 Reasons Why NOT

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13 Reasons Why NOT

Photo Credit: gomoxie.com

Photo Credit: gomoxie.com

Photo Credit: gomoxie.com

Photo Credit: gomoxie.com

Olivia King, Editor-In-Chief

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The Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why has taken televisions by storm. The show was created by Brian Yorkey, and based off of the novel written by Jay Asher. If you have haven’t viewed the show, the main character Hannah Baker commits suicide, and leaves behind 13 tapes, each one about a different person, giving specific reasons or events on how that said person drove her to kill herself.

*SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD* 

The series has exactly 13 episodes, each meeting or exceeding an hour in length. Each episode is either Side A or Side B of one of the numerous cassette taps. The series had the goal of depicting the dangers of bullying and showing that you don’t know what a person is going through, and anything said can be taken a numerous amount of ways. Instead, the show turned into a huge conspiracy, many viewers saying that the show romanticized suicide and turned into a plot for revenge. Although the plot displayed mixed messages, it definitely had the viewers on an emotional roller coaster. The parents of Hannah Baker first appear when they decide to sue the high school, accusing the board did nothing to help Hannah. Tony, one of the main characters, then starts keeping Hannah’s secrets from several characters all the while those characters are keeping secrets themselves. The show turns into one linked mystery, the viewers never knowing who has good intentions or who has bad. The show starts to unravel when Clay Jenson, Hannah’s coworker and potential love interest, releases the secrets and starts to stand up for Hannah; even though she’s already gone. The graphic scenes of both Hannah’s rape, physical abuse, sexual assault, and suicide also make it a sensitive show for young viewers or people who are sensitive towards said subjects.

The show has caused such a ruckus online that schools all over the Fraser area have been sending letters of concern to their young students trying to reach out and contradict the mixed messages the show has released. Dr.Richards, the Super Intendant for the Fraser area, sent a district wide newsletter expressing his concern with the impact of the story. Dr. Richards fears the show could be detrimental to the young viewers. In today’s society, young teenagers have the most power to be influenced by social media and television.

“This is not a show that I recommend youth watch; however, as we have witnessed on social media sites recently, the viewership of this show continues to increase, so we need to be prepared to dispel all the misinformation, normalization, and glorification of suicide that this show depicts,” Dr.Richards said.

Suicide is a very serious matter. It is not something to be romanticized or dramatized. Someone is taking their own life and will no longer be in this world. When someone takes their own life, it doesn’t  turn into some grand spectacle. It’s devastating, but the people who are deceased do not get to act out revenge like depicted in the show. In his letter, Dr. Richards included several resources, including a webinar and several articles on how to address the youth after watching this show and good points to discuss. If anyone is feeling depressed, suicidal, or alone please consult:

*Parents

*Friends

*School counselors

*Teachers

*The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

*Text “START” to 741741

*(Specifically for teenagers who want to talk to other kids going through the same thing) Text “TEEN” to 839863 from 6-9pm or Call 310-855-HOPE

If anyone calling, texting, or emailing wants to remain anonymous, all resources offers that option and welcome everyone. The information given will remain private and their only concern to help as much as possible.

 

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