13 Reasons Why

Saturday, April 8, 2017

This Netflix series seems to be the topic of social media at the moment, which considering the subject matter is a great place for the discussion to be happening, although the discussion needs to make it's way to not only the kids at school, but teachers and administrators too. This series is chronicles high school junior, Hannah and the reason's why she committed suicide. In in 13 recorded tapes she tells each person their part in the decision she made to commit suicide. I've watched a good amount of teenage movies and shows since I have three daughters, and I haven't seen anything as poignant or relevant to our teenagers today as 13 Reasons Why. When my girls were in school they had flip and brick phones, having a smartphone was not even an option. Now, kids as young as five have an iPhone, which I think is ridiculous. Put a smartphone in the hand of a teenager, with a growing brain who does not understand the consequences of their actions and you have a disaster waiting to happen. These kids have the world wide web in the palm of their hand, which allows them the ability to be up close, and personal to anyone willing to listen. Forget passing notes in class and being afraid of having the teacher read it out loud, they just text each other.
While this show is full of horrible language, sexual situations, alcohol, and drugs it is a great snapshot of the life of most if not all teenagers in our culture today, and how bullying can affect not just one teenager, but the whole lot of them. Besides being frustrated with the teens and their parents, I was very annoyed with the two "adults" whose job it was to pay attention to the warning signs. One a teacher, the communications teacher at that, the other the school counselor. If these two characters are a good representation of teachers and staff at a high school then it's no wonder our kids are struggling so.
I can't recommend this series enough. Parents, teachers, administrators, and definitely teens need to watch this series. I think the book, of the same name, which is written by Jay Asher needs to be required reading for all incoming freshman. Developing brain or not, kids need to see that what they do or don't do has consequences, and for some it can be deadly. Plus, parents need to find a way to connect with their teen who's job it is to begin to pull away and be their own individual. I really hope that more people will watch this series, and continue the conversation.


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