School Officials Raise Awarness of Suicide Themed Show. Commissioner Emanual Capers Calls it 'Teaching Opportunity'

The New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline has specialists available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-855-NJ-HOPELINE (654-6735) Credits: New Jersey Suicide Prevention Hopeline

PATERSON, NJ- Saying that watching the series may cause young people and teenagers to perceive that “suicide is a viable and/or romanticized option to coping with difficult circumstances,” Paterson Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer sent a letter to parents on May 15 to make them aware of the recent release of the second season of “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Netflix.

The series, which the letter says “many young people are watching,” revolves around the suicide of a high school student and contains content “which may be difficult for teenagers to process in an appropriate way.”

Speaking to TAPinto Paterson, Board of Education Commissioner Emanuel Capers said that he brought the release of the show to Shafer’s attention after finding out that his own daughter had been watching it.  

Sign Up for E-News

“This is a serious issue that our children are facing,” Capers said. Reiterating a lengthy post he shared on Facebook Capers continued to say that the series, which he has watched in its entirety, is concerning because it “makes the viewers think that suicide is only an external event when in reality bullying, excessive drinking/drug use, failure to identify mental issues and internal factors all contribute to the result of one looking to end their life.

Rather than calling for the removal of the show from the streaming service Capers went on to encourage parents to become familiar with it for the “teaching opportunity” it contains.

“In order to address these issues with teenagers we need to remember to ask about what they are feeling and seeing, and we need to listen.”

Both Schafer’s letter and Capers’ post contained information regarding several resources available to those who may be struggling with the issues the show portrays including the NJ Suicide Prevention Hotline at (855)- 654-6735 and the NJ Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, June 22, 4:00 PM


School 25 PTO Family Fun Day



Tue, June 26, 11:00 AM

Paterson Courthouse Plaza, Paterson

Tuesdays in the Plaza

African Heritage Parade a Success

June 18, 2018

Dear Editor: 

I am writing this letter to publicly apologize to the African Heritage Parade Committee and its chief organizer, Ms. Ada Pugh.

I’ll explain why. Throughout the years I have been quite critical of the parade. I would often offer scaving objections to the planning, preparation, and even down to the marching itself. I have a tendency to be tough. I won’t ...

Pou Bill to Assist Saving for Higher Education Through Tax Deduction Advances

June 19, 2018

TRENTON - A bill sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Nellie Pou that would assist parents saving for their children's college tuition through a gross income tax deduction passed the Senate Higher Education Committee today.

"This bill will give parents another incentive to save for their children's higher education," said Senator Pou (D-Passaic/Bergen) ...

Pascrell, Nadler, Congressional Colleagues Make Surprise Visit to ICE Detention Center to See Separated Families, Jail Conditions

ELIZABETH, NJ – This morning, U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), and Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-08) arrived at the ICE Detention Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey on Father’s Day morning and demanded to see the parents of families ...

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 15, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Senator Pou’s Statement on Hurricane Maria Evacuee Session

June 9, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Senator Nellie Pou (D-Paterson) released the following statement regarding the Hurricane Maria Evacuee session to be held on Monday, June 11, in Paterson:


I am happy that we are able to bring these types of informational sessions to the residents of Paterson and surrounding areas to ensure that Hurricane Maria evacuees are made aware of the programs available to them ...