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Brunswick City Schools warns parents about Netflix series '13 Reasons Why'

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-26 17:05:12-04

Joining others across the country, a local school district is warning parents about a Netflix original series that focuses on a high school student who commits suicide. 

Brunswick City Schools sent a letter to parents that read, in part: "There are concerns that this series is not the 'suicide prevention tool' that some may think it is and that it could trigger students who might be struggling. The series is very dark, intense and includes some very mature scenes as well as language that is not appropriate for students."Netflix said it sought the advice of "medical professionals" when developing "13 Reasons Why."

Montclair Public Schools District in New Jersey sent parents a similar statement. 

The 13-part serial, which is co-produced by Selena Gomez, revolves around the story of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, who takes her own life and leaves behind audio recordings for 13 people who she says were part of why she killed herself.

The series’ premiere last month quickly drew buzz and the ire of some suicide prevention advocacy groups, which expressed concerns that the show could increase the instances of suicide among youths. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those ages 15 to 34, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Netflix said it sought the advice of "medical professionals" when developing "13 Reasons Why."

"From the onset of work on 13 Reasons Why, we have been mindful both of the show's intense themes and the intended audience," the company said in a statement last week to ABC News.

"We support the unflinching vision of the show’s creators, who engaged the careful advice of medical professionals in the scriptwriting process," the statement read. "The series carries a TV-MA rating as well as graphic content warnings preceding specific episodes, along with an after-show and companion website with additional resources. Our members tell us that 13 Reasons Why has helped spark important conversations in their families and communities around the world."