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"13 Reasons Why" Stirs Conversation, Controversy - KOAM TV 7

"13 Reasons Why" Stirs Conversation, Controversy

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13 Reasons Why is narrated by Hannah Baker, a teenager who recorded a series of audio tapes describing the 13 reasons why she ended her own life.
The deep look into teen suicide has started a number of conversations about the issue at a number of schools nationwide, including, Carthage High School.
CHS Principal Matt Huntley says "We kinda talked about some of the positive things that could come from a popular show about a really difficult subject and then some of the other things we found concerning."
"It is something we know our kids struggle with on a daily basis, but with the trending popularity of the show it just felt like a it was a really good prime opportunity to get some really important information in the hands of both our parents and our students." Added CHS Counselor Shelley Wilson.
The school sent home letters with the students -- encouraging parents to sit down with their teens and talk about the show - a show that digs deep into the teen psyche...
CHS senior Maquelle Huntley said "It's very thought provoking, and it really makes you start re-evaluating the way you treat every single person that you come into contact with."
But the controversy doesn't end with just the show's topics, there's concern about the show 'glamorizing' suicide...
Wilson:  "There are mental health professionals out there that have watched this, that have spoken some concerns, worried that students might do that, that students who might be experiencing similar things that students might consider doing something similar."
But in the end, there's one message that everyone hopes is taken away...
Maquelle:  "If anything, I'm hoping it will encourage people to seek help, if they need it, and not be afraid to do that."

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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