The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Editorial: Correct call by Whitehall school officials


Being a teenager is by no means easy. While it certainly can be a time that comes with memories that will last a lifetime, there are also a lot of social and peer pressures that can make things tough.

This is perhaps even more difficult in a day and age with social media sites and instant access to things like Netflix or YouTube.

Last week, officials at Whitehall High School provided parents and community members with information about a recent show released on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why”. The show has quickly become a talking point among teenagers nationwide and deals with teen suicide.

We would like to applaud the school for quickly addressing the series that has caused a great deal of controversy with many believing it can glorify suicide without addressing how mental illness can play a large factor in many cases.

There is no doubt many kids in Whitehall have watched the show, and the school providing information about it is a great way for parents to discuss with children what they have watched, and also about suicide in general. A few minutes of conversation can make a world of difference. The links and information provided by the school includes a list of 13 talking points about the series, and some real dangers about what the show may be portraying to vulnerable teenagers.

This is not an easy thing to discuss with children, but it is important to do. Turning a blind eye to the popularity of the show would have been the wrong call.

Many local residents and many across the country have had to deal with the repercussions of suicide.

Many critics and parents have also spoke in favor of the show, so either way it is something that needs to be talked about. It can happen anywhere, and often times it is someone you would never suspect. It’s really good to know that school officials took the time to address the issue and the information they provided could make a world of difference. For a link to the 13 talking points, visit


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