Talking about the show "13 Reasons Why"

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Mental health and education professionals across the country have expressed concern after viewing the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which is an adaption the 2007 novel of the same title.  Recently the National Association of School Psychologists published, “The series, which many teenagers are binge watching without adult guidance and support, is raising concerns from suicide prevention experts about the potential risks posed by the sensationalized treatment of youth suicide.” The organization also published several articles noting their concern regarding the intense socioemotional content on the Netflix series as well as releasing literature for parents and educators regarding how to discuss the difficult topics of teen suicide, bullying, drug/alcohol use and other social issues facing adolescents today. 

We encourage you to talk with your child and if indeed he or she has watched the show and needs support or someone to talk to, we have counselors available at our schools who can assist. We have also provided resources below from the National Association of School Psychologists, the JED Foundation and American Psychological Association to assist in informing you about these important issues.  Also know that as parents, you can certainly reach out to our school counseling staff if you have questions or need to discuss any concerns with your student. 

Jeremy Moore
Assistant Superintendent, Office of Student Personnel Services
Fort Zumwalt School District


Resources for parents

13 Reasons Why Talking Points, JED Foundation

Preventing Youth Suicide:  Tips for Parents and Educators, National Association of School Psychologists

7 Essential Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide, American Psychological Association

Life Crisis Services 24/7 Hotline: 314-647-HELP (4357)

National Suicide Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273 – TALK (8255)