We want to give you some information about a show that has taken the youth culture by storm. This Netflix original series is called “13 Reasons Why.” It has amassed more than 11 million tweets since its launch. The teen series, based on a novel of the same name, revolves around the suicide of a high school girl, Hannah. The show is produced by superstar Selena Gomez, who happens to be the most-followed person on Instagram.
I have watched the show and want you to know some important things about it. Unfortunately, we believe this show is a very real depiction of our students’ culture. If you watch it, you may think it’s overly dramatic, but the reality is that students feel this way about life. It’s easy for us as adults to not address the show because we think it’s all hype and emotions. The show includes youth culture trends such as bullying, homosexuality, underage drinking, drug usage, partying, sexual assault, rape, depression, suicide and more. The show contains two graphic rape scenes, countless use of profanity, and a scene that is practically a “how-to” commit suicide guide. It is important to know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among those ages 15 to 34.
So what should you do about it? We don’t suggest your student watch the show. However, most of them already have and if they want to – they will find a way. We do suggest you watch the show. If you can stomach the show, we think it’s important for you to see the world your students are immersed in. By knowing what your students are facing, you will better lead them to gospel-centered living. Here are some great questions to talk with your student about this show. We highly encourage you to take the time to have a conversation about this show with your student.
1) Start with an open conversation: “Ask your child have you heard of this show? Have you watched it? How did it affect you?” And really listen because it might provide a window into some of their own thoughts and feelings and which themes they gravitated toward the most.
2) Connect your student to a VSM Mentor: Our goal is for every student at the Vineyard to be mentored by an adult who loves Jesus and loves them. You can find out more info about mentoring by stopping by the student room or emailing us.