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Local school district tackles '13 Reasons Why'

Local school district tackles '13...

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Central Valley School District sent a letter home to parents giving advice on how to tackle the heavy subject matter of pop culture phenomenon “13 Reasons Why”.

The main focus of the popular Netflix series is the topic of teen suicide.

Based on its popularity, there's a good chance the show is on your child's radar.

So, the Central Valley School District sent a letter home to parents making them aware of the series.

The district wants parents to know how to discuss the dark and heavy topics presented in the show, and what resources are available to prevent suicide.

In the show, viewers are introduced to Hannah Baker, a fictional teen who dies from suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she took her own life. The school district says it's likely your kids know about it.

"Even if they haven't watched it, they're talking to their friends who have watched it," said Horizon Middle School Principal Jesse Hardt.

The district decided it was especially important that parents of middle school students understand exactly what the show is about.

"That's tough for kids at that age to really understand the content that's being portrayed and so we want our parents to be aware of it and to have those conversations with those kids," said Kent Martin, the executive director for secondary education for the district.

The letters also included links to resources available to talk to children about “13 Reasons Why.”

Counselors say that communication is essential.

"We shouldn't be afraid to talk about self harm or depression or anxiety. Just being able to have an open conversation and just letting them know that there are resources out there," said Connie Mott, a counselor at Horizon Middle School.

“13 Reasons Why” includes heavy content, some of which teens might recognize in their own lives.

Counselors and experts say it's important to talk to your kids and help them understand that suicide should never be an option.

"This show might bring those emotions out even more at a higher level. But, what we can do is provide information and let kids know that we're here to support them. That's the biggest thing," Hardt said.

For resources on talking to your teens about “13 Reasons Why,” click here.
 


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