Suicide-themed Netflix show '13 Reasons Why' prompts warning from school

- A middle school in Montgomery County has alerted parents to concerns they have with a new Netflix series that deals with teen suicide.

John Taylor, the principal of Cabin John Middle School sent an email earlier this week to parents regarding the show, 13 Reasons Why. The show, which debuted in March, follows the story of a 17-year-old girl who commits suicide and leaves behind audio recordings of the 13 reasons why she decided to do so.

Taylor says staff members reported to him that they heard students discussing the show. He sent the email to parents after watching an episode and reading about the program.

"These episodes can be quite disturbing and the concern is that students need to either watch with an adult, or discuss the program afterwards with an adult,” his email said. "Mental health professionals worry that watching without an adult to process and discuss their feelings, could put a young adolescent at risk of self-harm."

Taylor's email went on to say that parts of the show graphically depict suicide, rape, and bullying and that it is intended for an older audience. "The hope is that if they do watch - it will lead to the kinds of better understanding and discussion that the producers intend," his email continued.

Taylor included information from the National Association of School Psychologists and from the JED Foundation.

The Netflix program is based on a 2007 novel and several episodes are available for viewing online.

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