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Colorado School District Temporarily Pulls 13 Reasons Why Book Due To Recent String Of Student Suicides

| Filed under: TV NewsBookzTeensNetflixControversy

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Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has been polarizing to say the least.

But for a Colorado community still grieving over seven students who recently committed suicide, the source material for the teen drama was too dangerous to stay on shelves… for a few hours.

A Mesa County Valley School District official ordered librarians to temporarily stop circulating the book that 13 Reasons Why was based on, due to the mass criticism that it glamorizes suicide.

Related: 13 Reasons Why Showrunner Offers Details About Season 2!

The order caused irritation from some district librarians, who called the rare occurrence censorship, perpetuating the debate about balancing freedom of speech with sensitive topics concerning teen suicide.

Leigh Grasso, the curriculum director for the district who decided to pull the novel, sent an email on April 28 to fellow librarians, citing media attention and recent events in as just a few of the reasons why she made her decision.

She explained to the Associated Press:

"It would be hard for anybody who has dealt with suicide to not have a heightened awareness of things, to perhaps be a little more cautious about things."

There is no evidence that any of the Mesa County students who committed suicide since the beginning of the year were inspired by the series or the book. Several librarians protested the order, which was rescinded just three hours after it was issued.

Grasso, who has not read the books or seen the show, said the book was once again made available after librarians and counselors insisted it did not include scenes as graphic as portrayed in the Netflix series — such as Hannah's gruesome suicide in the season finale.

Video: Aaron Hernandez's Fiancée Reveals Doubts About His Suicide!

The district official said her decision was of a more cautionary nature than the desire to censor literature for students, adding:

"I think we were just being cautious until we had the opportunity to look at the book and see how closely related to the movie it was."

While the order only lasted a few hours, librarians were quick to prevent its censorship, the act of which would be "a slippery slope." An official told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

"I believe it is our duty to follow that process, because censorship is a slippery slope… Once we start pulling and censoring books for all students as a reactive measure there is no line to which we follow."

They're certainly not wrong. Another school district in Minnesota briefly pulled the book after a parent complained that it referenced sex.

Regardless of how the series commentates on (or even romanticizes) teen suicide, pulling a controversial book from the shelves is not the answer — especially when there's a more graphic version of the story available to stream online.

Have U watched 13 Reasons Why yet?

[Image via Netflix.]

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