March 31, the first season of “13 Reasons Why” was released as a Netflix original. It follows a high school teenager, Hannah Baker, who recorded tapes of the 13 entities who had performed heinous actions that would cause her to later commit suicide.
After shortly becoming Netflix’s most popular show it had ever produced, the immense amount of viewers at home had all shortly stumbled to same question,”Could this actually occur on high school campuses?”
The answer lies within distinguishing the fiction of the show from the reality of secondary schools.
Some of the main causes toward why Hannah committed suicide were due to the rape that she witnessed along with her own experience of sexual assault. According to a study using CDC data, 1 in 5 high school females have experienced being sexually assaulted during a time in their high school years, albeit it does not mean that the student was assaulted by a peer. Thus meaning the rape culture on our high school campuses is extremely meager, but it does dismiss the fact that it does occur.
On May 19, Alyssia Sosa, a high school student in Richmond, Texas, killed herself two days after a boy who shared a same class had tried to grope her in that class as a movie had played. Although this is only one case, there has been student deaths caused from the same epidemic that took Hannah’s life.
Other epidemics such as depression and anxiety majorly encumber students. According to one study conducted in 2014 alone, 2.8 million youth age 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode. The numbers have only increased progressive each year leading up to 2017. Due to these two mental disorders, roughly 4,000 adolescents have committed suicide each year.
Although “13 Reasons Why” is a show based on complete fiction, the hostile experiences that Hannah endured are still issues apparent in the everyday lives of high school students around the world.