13 Reasons Why/Suicide Prevention

Dear Bell Middle School Families,

I wanted to reach out to you to share some thoughts I’ve had about recent conversations in our school.

Bell Middle staff members have been privy to many intense conversations surrounding 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 conducted an informal poll during lunch yesterday and asked students to raise their hand if they are watching or have watched the show. The vast majority of hands went up during each lunch; thus, I thought it important I reach out to you.

I want you to be aware that 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 that the characters do or are subject to. I want to make sure our students know that 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 wanted to make you aware of the 13 Reasons Why trend and the school discussions 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 that the show is fiction, and perhaps 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 Safe2Tell.org or call/text 1-877-542-7233 to make an anonymous tip if someone needs help. Our Bell counselors, social worker, social emotional learning specialist, and school resource officer are all great resources that can be called on as well.

As always, the well-being and safety of our students is our top priority at Bell. The best way to keep our kids safe and help them be successful is by working together.

Thank you for your continued support.


Bell Middle School

Daniel Keane,
Apr 28, 2017, 2:08 PM
Daniel Keane,
Apr 28, 2017, 2:08 PM
‘13 Reasons Why’ Experts say there’s a problem with that - The Washington Post.html
Daniel Keane,
Apr 28, 2017, 2:08 PM