Local superintendent sends letter to parents regarding '13 Reasons Why'

School's reactions to '13 Reasons Why'

ROCKFORD, MICH. - It focuses on the topics of bullying, sexual assault, depression and suicide. The popularity of the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" is causing concern for school officials nationwide.

Here in West Michigan, Rockford Schools Superintendent Mike Shibler sent a letter to families about the show.

He wants parents to talk to their children about the show and the book it's based on -- and make sure support is available to understand the issues presented.

Psychologists agree.

"A few decades ago there was all this research about does violence on Television insight violence in children, the answer to all of that is, for some kids, yes. Not for everybody, but there is a profile of kids where that does," said Bob VandePol, director of Pine Rest Employee Assistance Program. "I think the same may be true here, if it escalates risk for one kid, it's too much."

Shibler also mentioned resources are available within the district -- including guidance counselors and school psychologists.

There's also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

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