CCSD addresses teen suicides amid '13 Reasons Why' popularity - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

CCSD addresses teen suicides amid '13 Reasons Why' popularity

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

"13 Reasons Why"  is a popular Netflix series that centers around a teen girl who takes her life, and leaves 13 tapes behind blaming her peers for her suicide. It's fueled a national conversation about teen suicide and how it's depicted. 

Tuesday, the Clark County School District joined that conversation, and joined schools nationwide by sending a letter home to parents informing them about the show and its content, while encouraging them to talk to their teens about mental health, depression, and suicide. 

Dear Parents and Guardians:


The safety of our students is our number one priority. As always, we want to keep you informed of important issues that may impact our students.


A Netflix series called “13 Reasons Why” has sparked a national conversation about teen suicide. The 13-part series tells the fictional story of a teenager who takes her own life. In the series, the girl leaves behind 13 recordings that explain the reasons for her choice to commit suicide.


While the show brings up the importance of talking about suicidal thoughts, it also portrays situations in which young people are dealing with serious issues ranging from bullying to sexual assault.


A statement from the National Association of School Psychologists said, "We do not recommend that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series. Its powerful storytelling may lead impressionable viewers to romanticize the choices made by the characters and/or develop revenge fantasies.”


You may wish to discuss the “13 Reasons Why” series with your child, in case they have seen it or heard about it. Remind your student to tell an adult, such as a parent, teacher or school counselor, if they know of someone who is expressing thoughts about hurting themselves. If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation, please call 911 immediately. Also be aware of the following resources that are available to assist you:
• The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
• Say No To Bullying website: http://www.ccsd.net/students/bully/


Additionally, all Clark County School District psychologists, counselors, social workers and school nurses have been trained in suicide intervention protocol so that we can immediately assistance any student in crisis.

We are committed to the safety and welfare of our students. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call your child’s school.

" I think it's responsible to have the parents and request the parents watch this with their children," clinical social worker Sherita Childress said.

She said she believes parents should supervise their kids while watching the controversial show. 

"Because this topic is so heavy and because some adolescents may not be able to understand and process everything in it, I think its responsible to have the parents and request the parents watch with their children so they can supervise what they're taking in," Childress said. 

She also said she believes the conversation surrounding the show, is a positive thing. 

"(Teens with suicidal thoughts are) not alone, they don't have to suffer silently, so it is something to talk about. I'm so happy that its not taboo anymore, because we need to get people talking about it," she said. 

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