Everyone is talking about 13 Reasons Why Season 2 right now, especially due to the show's controversial bullying, sexual assault, and gun violence storylines. If you've finished binging Season 2, you might be curious to know if what happens to Clay Jensen, Hannah Baker, and other students happens in real-life. Unfortunately we're here to tell you that yes, these things do happen in real schools, and there are five documentaries about real-life bullying that you really need to watch.
Fair warning: spoilers ahead! If you haven't watched Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why, you might want to skip over this part. In the show's second season, Hannah has been dead for at least five months and Clay is still in denial over how her death has affected him. Over the course of 13 episodes, the controversial show explores some pretty heavy topics. Among those topics are: cutting, drug use, sexual assault, bullying, and gun violence -- just to name a few. The second season is extremely dark compared to the first, and it even left many storylines completely open ended in case Netflix picks it up for a third season. So far there's no word of that, but in the meantime you can watch the following documentaries to learn more about real-life bullying.
Bully follows five different bullying stories within American schools. Sadly, two of those stories end in suicides. The documentary also explores the fight against bullying, including the story of two parents who are desperate to protect their child but are met with constant resistance from his clearly ignorant school. You can rent Bully on Amazon & iTunes for just $3.99.
Audrie & Daisy (2016)
Audrie & Daisy tells the story of two teenage girls who are sexually assaulted while intoxicated at high school parties. Their assaults lead to an onslaught of bullying from their classmates and friends, especially online. You can stream Audrie & Daisy on Netflix.
Stalking Amanda Todd (2014)
The Fifth Estate's Stalking Amanda Todd: The Man in the Shadows tells the harrowing tale of a 15-year-old Canadian girl who was cyber stalked, harassed, exploited and bullied until she committed suicide. After Amanda's death, a video she made pleading for help went viral. You can watch Amanda Todd's heartbreaking story for free above.
Too Scared For School (2016)
Too Scared for School follows a number of students in the UK who are dealing with bullying. Among them are an American girl whose reputation is destroyed after her classmates find out that she's originally from the United States. You can watch too Scared for School for free in the video above.
Can't Bully Me (2014)
Can't Bully Me is a documentary that tells the stories of four young people aged 12 to 14 as they deal with being bullied. In this look at the aftermath of bullying, the four subjects attend specialized centers to complete their education in a safe environment. You can watch Can't Bully Me for free above.
If you're wondering if the above documentaries are appropriate to watch with your children, we're leaving that up to you. The best suggestion is that you watch them and decide which of them you are comfortable with your children watching, if any.
No matter what, once you've watched the documentaries, you should definitely make it a point to speak with your children. But before you do that, you might want to take some time to map things out. For example: how do you want to approach the topic of bullying with your child? What is it that you want them to know -- or, more importantly, not know? What are some ways you can make sure your children are able to identify bullying, whether it be to them or someone else?
Bullying isn't an easy subject to approach, but talking about it and bringing awareness to it can and will save lives.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255.