Tonya Schlickman, School Social Worker

13 Reasons Why
    Approximately 60% of the students at PJHS have watched all or part of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.  Many other students have read or are planning on reading the book on which the series is based written by Jay Asher.  The show is about a high school student who completes suicide and the 13 audiotapes she leaves behind for other students documenting her reasons for suicide.  Some of the episodes are quite graphic in nature and include scenes of sexual assault, substance abuse, and the suicide.
    While it is important for adults to talk openly with teenagers about substance abuse, assault,and suicide, many professionals believe that this is a show which may require guidance from adults as the teen watches it.  Students who are sensitive or easily influenced may find this show difficult to watch.  
    If your child has watched this series, I would recommend sitting down and discussing the show and what it meant to your child.  It also offers the opportunity to discuss coping with stress, how to find help if having difficulty coping or feeling overly sad or anxious, and alternatives to suicide.
    Below are a number of links to various articles which offer guidance to adults discussing the series with their child/student.  As always, please feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.

How are school social work services provided?
    Many students prefer having time for individual or group counseling.  They are able to use this time to discuss the issues that are on their minds.  I enjoy taking time to work with classes of students to teach various skills such as stress management or handling difficult peer relationships.  I also work with school staff and parents to provide strategies that can be used in the classroom or at home to help a student become increasingly successful.

How does a student access school social work services?
    Students may access school social work services in a variety of ways.  At the junior high level, many students approach me between classes or send me an email to request an appointment.  I also take referrals from school staff and parents.  
    Parents are welcome to contact me at anytime by calling the school at 708-258-3246 or emailing

What is a School Social Worker? 
   As a school social worker I am a part of the educational team.  I work with all students, school staff, and parents to assist students with their social and emotional growth.  My primary focus is to help each student receive the most from their educational experience.

School social workers help STUDENTS: 
  • achieve the maximum benefit from their educational opportunities
  • understand themselves and others
  • improve interpersonal relationships
  • cope with stress
  • develop decision making skills
School social workers help PARENTS:
  • participate effectively in their children's education
  • understand and meet their children's social and emotional needs
  • understand programs available to students with special needs
  • utilize school and community resources effectively
School social workers help SCHOOLS: 
  • understand factors (cultural, societal, economic, familial, health, etc.) that affect students' abilities to make maximum use of their school experience
  • utilize their resources in meeting the educational, social and emotional needs of students
  • promote a safe school environment
School social workers help COMMUNITIES:
  • understand school policies, programs, and practices
  • minimize those environmental factors which inhibit learning
  • develop resources to adequately meet the needs of students and families
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1997-2016 Illinois Association of School Social Workers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       All rights reserved