Concerns about 13 Reasons Why

A few of us with children in middle school and high school have received this email and we want to pass the concerns along to you. Please remember to talk to your kids about the Safe2Tell resource and look into it yourself as well.


You have likely heard about the controversy surrounding the new show on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why. It has gotten a lot of media attention lately. Please read the attached letter that most of our schools will be sending out to parents about why this show needs parental follow up:

Dear Families,

Many of you have probably heard about a new Netflix show titled 13 Reasons Why. The show is about one teen trying to figure out why another ended her own life and is based on a book of the same name by Jay Asher. I want you to be aware the show features many mature themes including suicide, sexual assault, sexual orientation, bullying, and drug use. However, the core of the show is about a series of choices young people make, their interaction with adults (including school staff), and how their actions and reactions lead to some tragic consequences.

In some ways the conversations about the show have led to healthy discussions about hard topics. Talking about how difficult situations affect us, how emotions can and should be addressed, how our choices affect others, and what type of support there is for our students can have very positive outcomes for our students. On the other hand, this show glamorizes some of the tragic things the characters do or are subjected to. I want to make sure our students know many of the happenings in this show are anything but glamorous – in real life, these types of situations are traumatic and painful with real, long-lasting effects.

I want to make you aware of the 13 Reasons Why trend so you have the opportunity to engage with your student. If your student is watching the show, please consider: 

  • Watching the show either before your student does or with your student 
  • Discussing the content with your child 
  • Reiterating the show is fiction, and discuss how the content does and does not reflect reality 
  • Ensure your student knows they have a support system at home and school and, if needed, who they can talk to

You may also consider reminding your student about reporting any and all potential safety concerns to you and to the school, no matter how insignificant they believe it might be. If your student or anyone you know is in crisis, please contact the Colorado Crisis Service hotline at 1-844-493-8255 or visit one of their walk in centers. Students can also use or call/text 1-877-542-7233 to make an anonymous tip if someone needs help. Our counselors, social worker, social emotional learning specialist, and school resource officer are all great resources who can be called on as well. As always, the well-being and safety of our students is our top priority. The best way to keep our kids safe and help them be successful is by working together.

Thank you for your continued support.