School Shows “13 Reasons Why” Life Is Worth Living

You’ve probably heard of “13 Reasons Why,” a popular Netflix series among young people. So far, it’s the most tweeted-about show of 2017. The series, however, has garnered criticism from school officials and psychological experts. The National Association of School Psychologists has even issued guidelines for educators for talking with students about the show.

The concern stems from the storyline that, while shining a spotlight on teen suicide, does little, critics say, to offer hope or solutions. The main character takes her own life and leaves behind 13 tapes for those she claims drove her tragic decision. Many are worried the show glamorizes suicide and could trigger a “contagion effect” that leads vulnerable teens to end their own lives. So it’s no surprise that an effort by one Michigan high school to turn such a negative influence into a movement of positive awareness is going viral.

Students at Oxford High School, located north of Detroit, made local and national headlines with the start of their “13 Reasons Why Not” project. According to the Oakland Press, the campaign is the brainchild of the high school dean, Pam Fine.

“I watched the series. I thought it accurately depicted the problems that teenagers in high school are facing now. But it was incredibly troubling to me that suicide was portrayed as being, almost, inevitable, like she had no other option. The idea was to come up with 13 reasons why not, because that was not portrayed in the show. … Even though it can get very dark, there is always hope. Our message is that there are no 13 reasons why. Suicide is not an option,” Fine told the newspaper.

The effort was kept secret, so students were surprised one Monday morning when…Continue Reading at OSV Newsweekly.