"There is a formal, board approved process to challenge books in our district, and I believe it is our duty to follow that process, because censorship is a slippery slope", an unidentified high school librarian told The Daily Sentinel. Pulling the book and criticizing the Netflix series has opened the conversation between freedom of speech and protecting students.
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.
Leigh Grasso, curriculum director for the Mesa County Valley School District, issued the order to have the district's 20 copies removed from library shelves.
13 Reasons Why picks up months after the suicide of teenager Hannah Baker, just as cassette tapes she recorded for a select group of peers she deemed responsible for her demise begin circulating.
The YA novel, written by Jay Asher, is the source material for a wildly popular and highly contentious Netflix adaptation of the same name, about a high school girl who decides to commit suicide after compiling a series of tapes that chronicle her reasons for doing so.
He said he respects the varied opinions, even suggesting it can be a valuable show for parents to watch with their kids.
In northern California, the San Mateo-Foster City School District sent a letter to parents informing them of the show and encouraging them to keep it away from their kids.
Katherine however has praised Netflix's treatment around the show, adding: 'The other cool thing with Netflix is - yes, we made this piece of entertainment and there was a focus on trying to show it in a way that served justice to the message in the book, but then I feel that they've taken responsibility in the after care'.
"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", Grasso explained. "What we did was portray suicide and we portrayed it as very ugly and very damaging".
"Over and over, readers describe "Thirteen Reasons Why" as the first time they felt understood", Asher told A.P. "It has a buy-in that people watch the first episode and go, 'Oh, my goodness'". I think they should listen to their children though, this is happening right now all over the world in high schools.