13 Reasons Why sparks conversation among students

13 Reasons Why is the most popular Netflix Original Series to date.


13 Reasons Why is the most popular Netflix Original Series to date.

Jennifer Bautista

“I’m listening to someone give up. Someone I knew. Someone I liked. I’m listening but I’m still too late.”

Many will recognize these from the start of the series from the Netflix series,  13 Reasons Why. It has taken the nation by storm, showing teens and young adults how bullying can affect teens in today’s day and age.

The story follows the life of Clay Jensen after his friend, Hannah Baker, commits suicide. Baker left 13 tapes giving reasons for why she did it, and ultimately put the blame on other people.

According to the producers of the show, the motive is to bring awareness

to what many teenagers are facing daily.

This Netflix original series has received backlash from critics on how the scenes were portrayed. In the 13 episode series, the story goes through the topics of slut-shaming, bullying, and rape, in an attempt to show their effects on people over time.

Many believe that the scenes are too graphic and make the show hard to watch while others believe it shows serious teen issues.

Many reviews say that this is another way to glamorize suicide and make it seem like more of a revenge fantasy where committing suicide is used to achieve something in the end. Some Northgate viewers weighed in on the issue.

“This TV show just gives people ideas and makes them think that suicide is the way to get the reaction they want,” said junior Aisling Murphy.

“I feel like someone who’s depressed or suicidal, this show would make their condition worse because they literally showed the suicide and rape part,” said junior Aisha Azizi.

Others believe that this is an accurate representations of happens on a day-to-day basis.

“Every day, guys and girls come to this school and things are said about them. Sometimes they may be minor but eventually things get added, and that small thing becomes much larger than you thought it would,” said junior Eiman Abumuoilish.

Statistics show that 25 percent of young adults are or will be faced with cyberbullying in their lifetime.

Young adults, both boys and girls, are daily faced with the facts that there is slut-shaming, bullying and rape at their schools and online. Although most people don’t talk about these topics because they are afraid, it is important to get the point across on how this can affect someone’s life.

Three million kids per month are absent from school due to bullying, according to research statistics. Twenty percent of teens who are cyberbullied think about suicide and 4,500 kids commit suicide each year, which makes suicide the third most prevalent killer of teens in the United States.

Counselors and therapists caution against viewing the show, as they consider the passive setting of the show to differ with that of real life.

“I am concerned that people who are feeling depressed or anxious would think more about suicide,” said school psychologist Mary Tsuboi.

She added that she does not know of any reported suicides influenced by the TV show, but she is concerned that there aren’t enough filters in terms of access to the show.

“What I didn’t like about the TV show was that the school had clues that she was having problems and did nothing about that,” Tsuboi said. “Northgate is not like that, I guarantee.”

“I am concerned that people who are more sensitive to suicidal thoughts might think about suicide more,” she said.

However, Tsuboi added that she has talked to people that have gone through personal struggles of suicide and depression who do not like the show.

Some Northgate students who have read the book 13 Reasons Why, the basis of the series, say that while the content is the same the book does not feel as graphic.

Netflix has renewed the series and there will be a second season. Tsuboi says she hopes that there will be less powerful drama and more of a backstory to what happened in the first season, and exploration of alternatives for student support.