students and parents

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Guidance for Families Discussing 13 Reasons Why

13 Reasons Why poster

Dear Mesquite ISD Families – 

The teenage years for our students can often be difficult as they adjust to changes in and out of school. A new online series produced by Netflix called 13 Reasons Why attempts to dramatize this by focusing on bullying, depression and suicide. 

Based on the popular novel of the same name, the program is gaining popularity with teenagers and youth across the country. It is rated MA (mature audiences) and some counseling and educational experts believe it glorifies suicide.  

Because of the mature nature of this content and topic, we want parents to be aware of the widespread effect the program has had on day-to-day conversations teens and youth are having with one another. Teens and youth, because of their developmental age, sometimes don’t know what to do with information learned in peer-to-peer conversations.  

If your child is aware of this program, has watched it or is watching it, we encourage you to have an open dialogue with him/her regarding the subject matter. Below are some recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologists for families wanting to open that discussion. Should you need additional information visit the Jed Foundation

If you need individual assistance, please contact the counselor on your student’s campus.  We want all of our students and families to know that we are here to help. 


Kem Edwards

Director –Counseling Services



Guidance for Families Discussing 13 Reasons Why 

  1. Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. We don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, but if they are, do tell them you want to watch it with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have thoughts about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help. 
  3. Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs. 
  4. Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside. 
  5. Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers.