ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

13 Reasons Why has struck a chord with audiences, and has become a highly controversial series. The show depicts the life of teenagers in high school, but its portrayal of rape, bullying, body-shaming, and suicide have caused quite a commotion. Parents across the globe have addressed concern that the series romanticizes suicide; however, there are those that believe the show has brought awareness to important issues that people tend to sweep under the rug.

13 Reasons Why does contain material not suitable for children (as the 16+ rating suggests), but unsurprisingly, kids are still watching it anyway. In response the controversy, National Association of School Psychologists has issued a warning to parents suggesting that children should not watch 13 Reasons Why; however, it does acknowledge that the series has important messages that are valuable for adolescents.

While NASP is strictly an American organization, other countries have taken a different approach to the controversial Netflix series. New Zealand has recently given 13 Reasons Why an RP18 classification, which is akin to an R-rating from the MPAA. But another country has taking the issue to the next level, and one school is forbidding children from talking about the series on school grounds.

Canadian School Ban Talking About '13 Reasons Why'

13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]
13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]

13 Reasons Why has apparently caused problems in a school in Canada. CBC News in Edmonton reported that the principal of St. Vincent Elementary recently banned students from talking about the Netflix series, and sent the following email to parents that informed them of the new policy:

“The discussion that is unfolding at school is troubling. This series is rated Mature and the theme is the suicide of a high school student. This show includes graphic violence (rape) and gore, profanity, alcohol/drugs/smoking, and frightening/intense scenes. The purpose of this email is to provide you with this information. Please let your child know that discussion of ’13 Reasons Why’ is not permitted at school due to the disturbing subject matter.”

While banning children from talking about a television show sounds extreme, it is worth noting that this is an elementary school which is comprised of children under 12 years old.

Silence Is Not A Solution

13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]
13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]

Schools have banned books and certain items from school property before, but they usually have very little effect. When something is banned, it usually only pushes people to seek out that material. When something is forbidden, it becomes more desirable, and by banning children from talking about 13 Reasons Why, it might actually push students towards it.

Want to read more about 13 Reasons Why? Check out:

13 Reasons Why addresses issues that are very important in our society. We need to talk about mental health, because if we ignore it, we are only adding to the problem. The Netflix series has really opened people up to discussing topics that are extremely uncomfortable for a lot of people, and that is invaluable. Everything that transpires on 13 Reasons Why happens in schools across the world every day, and ignoring these topics is not a solution.

13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]
13 Reasons Why [Credit: Netflix]

It’s easy to agree that children under the age of 12 should not be watching movies of TV series with adult themes; however, it doesn’t change the fact that it happens. People of all ages need to be educated on the importance of mental hygiene, and even though a controversial show sparks the discussion, it doesn't mean we can't all learn from it.

You can watch 13 Reasons Why Season 1 streaming on Netflix now.

Sound off! Do you think kids should be watching 13 Reasons Why? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.

(Sources: CBC News; NASP)


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