Some critics of the Netflix drama have held that the show glorifies and encourages teen suicide.
A teenage girl in Florida attempted suicide in a way that eerily resembles the suicide in 13 Reasons Why, perhaps justifying fears that the Netflix drama would inspire other teens to commit suicide, The Okeechobee News is reporting.
The 15-year-old girl is not being named in order to protect her privacy.
In the first season of 13 Reasons Why, a teen girl commits suicide. At first, her community is shocked by her suicide, wondering what would drive her to take her life. However, in a series of audio clips, she explains her reasons for ending her life. The show then delves into matters such as bullying, depression, and sexual assault.
The Okeechobee girl’s mother says that her daughter attempted suicide in the same way as the young lady in the Netflix drama: by slicing open her wrists with a razor blade, and then waiting to bleed to death in a bathtub. Fortunately, a friend called 911, and emergency personnel got to her before it was too late. She was taken to a hospital and treated for her injuries. She has recovered and is now in therapy.
The mother says that her daughter and several other teenagers – both boys and girls – made a suicide pact. They had hoped to run away, change their identities, and live out a life that “didn’t involve adults telling them what to do.” Failing that, they would take their own lives.
Looking forward. pic.twitter.com/H8cHwZzN7x
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) May 23, 2018
On Mother’s Day, the girl attempted to carry out her end of the deal, texting the boys in the group even as she was taking apart a pencil sharpener in order to get the razor blade she would use. One of the boys called her “weak” and “selfish” and questioned whether or not she was really going to do it. Her mother says that the girl recorded a video of herself bleeding out in the bathtub and sent it to one of the boys via SnapChat.
“It’s taking too long … it’s not like on 13 Reasons.”
None of the other four teens involved in the suicide pact actually attempted to take their lives. All of them have been identified, and their parents have been told.
The mother blames the Netflix drama for what happened to her daughter.
“I’m angry that show is out there, and even more angry there is now a Season 2. Why even put these shows out there and put it in her mind to try to kill herself the way it is done in this show?”
She’s not alone. The Netflix drama has been intensely criticized for its unfaltering portrayal of teen suicide and other uncomfortable topics. Some schools have banned kids from even discussing the show, and at least one TV watchdog group publicly called on Netflix not to release a second season until more research could be done into any possible links between the show and teen suicide.
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