Mom blames ‘13 Reasons Why’ for daughter’s suicide attempt
A Florida mother is blaming Netflix for her daughter’s recent suicide attempt — claiming she tried to mimic the main character’s death on “13 Reasons Why” after being egged on by her friends.
“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?” the mother asked during an interview with the Okeechobee News.
Speaking anonymously, the woman told the local newspaper that her 15-year-old tried taking her own life on the morning of May 13 — while the rest of the family was celebrating Mother’s Day.
“Other than the type of blade used, my daughter did everything the girl in ‘13 Reasons’ did,” the woman said, noting how she uncovered texts that the teen sent, which referenced the show.
“It’s taking too long…it’s not like on 13 Reasons,” her daughter wrote in one message, after reportedly slicing her arms open from the wrist to about her elbow.
The young girl had agreed to kill herself as part of a suicide pact with four other kids, according to school officials and authorities.
The group reportedly included two boys and two other girls, ages 14 and 15. They initially wanted to run away together, but vowed to take their own lives if they were unable to, the mom said.
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The teens claimed to be in search of care-free lifestyle — which “didn’t involve adults telling them what to do,” according to their text messages.
“The kids haven’t said why,” the mom explained.
She told the News that one of the boys in the group was calling her daughter “weak” and “selfish” before her suicide attempt — while also pressuring her to send Snapchat clips, confirming she went through with their plan.
“The boy let our daughter send a video of herself,” the mom said.
Her daughter reportedly “took a pencil sharpener apart to get the blade out” and then filmed herself cutting both arms inside of a bathtub — mimicking the death of Hannah from “13 Reasons Why.”
“I’m angry that show is out there, and even more angry there is now a season 2,” the mom said, arguing that it “glorifies” teen suicide. “They should be glorifying kids who speak up.”
While her daughter’s suicide pact was first reported last week by the local sheriff’s office, the alleged connection to “13 Reasons Why” wasn’t revealed until Wednesday — when the woman’s interview with the News was published.
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office reportedly confirmed the details about the pact and contacted the families of the other teens involved. Officials said they didn’t believe any of the other kids actually intended on killing themselves.
The woman’s daughter is currently home recovering after a short stint in a mental health facility. Her mom is now trying to start a support group to get people to turn away from the Netflix series.
“This is a crusade I didn’t ask for,” the woman said. “But it is one I am taking on.”
While she spoke to the News anonymously, the worried mother chose to identify herself in a Facebook video, in which she urged other parents to pay attention to their children’s mental state and what they’re doing with their friends.
“We did not know anything. We saw nothing” the mom said. “It blindsided us.”
Parents across the country have been calling on Netflix to cancel “13 Reasons” in recent weeks following the release of season 2. The teen drama sparked widespread controversy in 2017 after its series debut, with parents criticizing its graphic depictions of teenage suicide and sexual assault.
At least two families from California have come forward and blamed Netflix for causing the suicides of their daughters.
The network could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. Its public relations department did not respond to the News’ request, either.
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