Thirteen Reasons Why is a Netflix drama that has been the subject of not only critical acclaim, but of an email sent earlier to parents within the Southeast Cornerstone School Division.
An email sent to parents was meant to encourage a dialogue between parents and youth about some of the dark and painful effects of bullying and cyber-bullying.
The email was sent upon the release of the show’s second season earlier this month. The themes explored in 13RW are certainly relevant to youth in terms of characters' ages and situations, but they contain heavy subject matter that some parents may wish to review before allowing their young adults to watch. Bullying, shaming, suicide, rape, and other topics that would ordinarily be reserved for adult programming, have been causing some wider-spread alerts concerning young peoples' interest in the show.
“We received an email from the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response,” said Cheryl Anderson, Co-Ordinator of Student Services for Southeast Cornerstone, noting that the communication led the school board to send the email to parents.
The senior leadership team included information and resources such as a parents’ toolkit website provided by the show’s producers as well as some tips on recognizing when there is a need for increased support.
“We shared a lot of different information, like the Kids Help Phone line and website, the Mental Health intake line, we explain how our school counsellors are available as well, just to make sure everyone is aware of the support available.”
Anderson noted that the school district has measures in place for preventing the tragic outcomes of bullying.
“We have reporting,” she said of the policies. “We encourage all students to go to the trusted adult, whoever they’re comfortable with. That might be a parent, it may be a teacher, the counsellor, or somebody within the school to report to so that it can be dealt with and addressed.”