Greenwich church hosts panel on “13 Reasons Why”

May 18, 2017 GMT

GREENWICH — Ubiquitously binge-watched by teens the nation over, Netflix’s new show “13 Reasons Why” has garnered outsized attention since its March 31 release.

Critics have staked out their positions: either cheering the spotlight the show put on teen suicide, or denouncing its portrayal of the issue. Many schools have decided to send warnings about the show to parents out of growing alarm that it may disturb already troubled youths and inspire copycats by romanticizing suicide, according to news reports.

On Wednesday night, a panel of community members at Second Congregational Church grappled with the show, its merits and its flaws, and what it can teach Greenwich about teen suicide and bullying.

“The show was presenting some very important information and an important window into some of the struggles that young people face today,” said Rev. Maxwell Grant, senior minister of Second Congregational Church. “We found ourselves really worried that with all of the hype and all of the concern and all of the crisis that some people saw in the show, that those important issues were somehow being lost.”

Grant moderated the discussion of “13 Reasons Why” among panel members Rev. Shawn Garan, minister at Second Congregational Church, Liz Perry, Head of the Upper School at St. Luke’s in New Canaan, Peyton Larkin, a senior at Greenwich High School and Nicole Segal, a senior at Westhill High School in Stamford.

emunson@greenwichtime.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson