SRL Reacts: Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’

Popular culture often plays a major role in influencing public discourse around topics like mental health. Last week, Student Reporting Labs asked the network to film students responding to the controversy surrounding a popular series on Netflix, “13 Reasons Why.” The show has received criticism for its graphic depiction of suicide. Students were asked whether they think the show glamorizes a serious issue or could encourage a broader conversation on mental health.

Seventeen schools in 12 states responded, submitting reactions from more than 70 students. Several of those videos were used by the PBS NewsHour in Tuesday night’s broadcast discussion about the public reaction to “13 Reasons Why.” The students featured on the broadcast were Julia from Daniel Pearl Magnet School in Van Nuys, California, Jaylah from John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, Muna from Lewis and Clark Middle School in Omaha, Nebraska, and Zoie from Fraser High School in Fraser, Michigan. Everyone’s thoughtfulness and honesty demonstrate the unique role Student Reporting Labs can play in contributing to a national conversation.