Few shows have inspired more debate this year than “13 Reasons Why,” a Netflix series centered around a teenager’s suicide. Based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, the show has earned favorable reviews for its handling of difficult subject matter but also been accused of glorifying suicide. Now, a school in Canada has asked parents to tell their children to refrain from even discussing “13 Reasons Why” on campus.
That’s according to CBC News, who report that St. Vincent Elementary School principal Azza Ghali wrote that “the discussion that is unfolding at school is troubling. Please let your child know that discussion of ’13 Reasons Why’ is not permitted at school due to the disturbing subject matter.” It’s a bold strategy: Everyone knows that, when told not to do something, kids immediately comply and don’t become even more compelled to do whatever it is they’ve been warned against.
St. Vincent isn’t the only school with a list of reasons why the Netflix show is verboten. The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board released a statement telling teachers that they’re not to use “13 Reasons Why” as “a teaching aid” because it “has graphic content related to suicide, glamorization of suicidal behaviour and negative portrayals of helping professionals, which may prevent youth from seeking help.”