Forum provides perspective on Netflix show

Students meet in library to discuss series


Sara Kress, Reporter

An open discussion about the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” took place in the library during flex on May 2. Open to both students and teachers, the purpose was to provide a forum for individuals to discuss the show, which prominently features a high school student who commits suicide.

Library director Mrs. Jennifer Herron heard that the popular new show dealt with serious issues that were relevant to teenagers and that it reflects high school life. “When I heard both of those facts, that it mirrors high school life closely and these are serious relevant issues, I thought that it would be good to have an open discussion among both trained staff and interested students,” Herron said.

ForThe discussion contained two parts: a verbal conversation and an online discussion forum on which students typed their opinions regarding the show’s themes. The discussion began with school counselors reminding students of the resources available here. Some major themes of the show are suicide and bullying, so the forum mainly focused on these topics.

Herron said, “I was happy to see the good balance of adults and students in the conversation, and I was happy that the conversation toggled between adults and students.”

Herron expressed her own thoughts on “13 Reasons Why.” “When I read the book, I didn’t like it because of how manipulative the main character was. It was hard to read,” she said.

Herron has watched only two episodes of the series thus far, but she said that she thought the portrayal of the characters was unrealistic. Herron said, “I don’t want (students) to feel bad that they don’t look like (the characters). But, like we said in the discussion, that could have been very intentional on the part of the director to reinforce that point, that we don’t know what’s going on underneath when people put on such a beautiful facade.”

Herron and counselor Mrs. Gretchen Watko want to continue the conversation between students and adults. Herron said, “We want to ask students if they would like to continue the conversation, not just about ‘Thirteen Reasons,’ but about other issues facing students, and we can do this during flex on a regular basis.”