The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” has been a hot topic of conversation among all age groups since it was released just a few weeks ago. School districts across the nation have sent out mass emails to parents and students to warn them of the graphic content in the show.
Based off of the New York Best Selling book, the series tells the story of a young girl’s suicide, as she leaves behind 13 tapes, one for each person who led her to the decision to end her life.
Hitting home on a personal level, Lubbock Church leader, Nick Watts lost his son Jordan to suicide in 2013. His son Jordan went to Frenship High School, and South Plains College. An artistic soul, his son was admired by many for his painting and music.
“He had paintings in New York City and Washington D.C., he made several CD’s, he just loved to create,” Watts said.
Watts recently wrote a blog post about the series, and it received nearly 200,000 views and reached 154 countries. He said he’s not against the series but he doesn’t think teenagers should be watching it alone.
“My sole purpose in writing my blog was to alert parents to triggers in this series, my purpose is not to sensor it because quite frankly people are watching it, and millions of people have seen it and it is a compelling story and it was a genius strategy.”
Watts speaks at schools about suicide, his son Jordan, and “13 Reasons Why.” He said he’s been able to see how suicide is not only a national problem, but a local problem as well.
Watts said, “I’m seeing teenage lives saved because of Jordan’s stories, I receive texts all the time from the schools I speak at, from these counselors and teachers who tell me I quote, ‘I had a girl who swallowed pills to end her life, she said she made herself throw up because of that man’s story about his son Jordan.'”
Watts encourages parents to watch the series with their children, and talk to them about it. As well as school districts having open conversations about it as well.
“They’re here in your hallways, they’re in your classrooms, they may be the minority but they are there and if my son’s death can help save one life then I’m all for it.”
National Suicide Hotline: #1-800-273-8255