A Netflix series detailing a teenage girl’s suicide is drawing the ire of school district officials nationwide, including those at Blue Earth Area School District.
At Monday night’s School Board meeting, high school principal Rich Schneider criticized the fictional show called “13 Reasons Why.”
Schneider told board members during his report that Netflix is profiting off a sensitive topic and not spending any money toward its prevention.
“It plays upon our students in one of their most impressionable stages of life,” says Schneider. “Suicide is very real and not something that anyone should minimize, or worse yet, glamorize.”
“13 Reasons Why” is a 13-episode drama of a high school student who kills herself and leaves behind audiotapes describing in graphic detail the events that caused her death.
In each tape, she blames her death on the actions of classmates and inaction of a faculty member.
Producers of the series say it offers messages of asking for help when you need it and about being kinder to other people.
Schneider, K-7 principal Melissa McGuire and assistant principal Dave Dressler have contacted parents, guardians and staff by e-mail.
Three website links have been provided to explain their concerns about the show and how to talk about suicide with your children.
“We have resources that we hope people will use and reach out to us for assistance,” Schneider says.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact one of the district’s counselors, social workers, nurse or administrators.