'The Pact': 12 part series to educate students and parents as Netflix debuts season 3 of '13 Reasons Why'

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BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Three groups are converging on Breathitt County High School for the next three months putting together a series to educate students and parents around the world.

The project is called 'The Pact'. It is a 12 part series that brings awareness to frightening trends after streaming service Netflix debuted the hit show '13 Reasons Why'.

"After 13 reasons why we started seeing results of kids as young as 13 years old binge-watching the series," said Ginger Shouse the Kentucky River Regional Prevention Center.

In 2018 the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention study was conducted that showed alarming data.

Nearly 9.5% of Kentucky youth have experienced unwanted sexual advances or attempted sexual assault at school. Additionally, the data also showed that 13.5% reported that they felt unsafe at school the entire day.

"We can create a video series where we talk about prevention bystander intervention getting kids engaged in different strategies and tools to cope with these things," said Holly Combs the Program Director at the Rising Center.

The Pact is made up of students who are living the lives '13 Reasons Why' depicts.

"In 7th grade, I was physically bullied but I actually play the bully so it's completely different from my own experience," said Callie Denton who plays Hayden.

Denton actually plays the bully in this instance using her past experience to guide her in this role.

Denton plays opposite Aleia Lindberg. Lindberg plays Pheonix the one who is picked on.

Lindberg and her family had a family friend who has watched the series.

"Things got really rough so I'm not even allowed to look at it," said Lindberg.

Denton has seen it, Lindberg has not. But, they say this is important to everyone who will watch because it is impacting so many.

"To show kids that if someone is being a bully to stand up, don't pull back, use your voice," said Denton.

Statistics surrounding this series are frightening.

A study released by the National Institute of Mental Health identified a 28.9% increase in suicide rates among kids in the United States a month after the release of '13 Reasons Why'.

In Kentucky, a report states rates of suicide ideation have followed national trends. Those trends show 15.7% of 10th graders (sophomores) have seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months. The same results also revealed that 12.2% had a plan of how to attempt suicide and 8.4% actually tried it in 2018.

'The Pact' is set to roll out in the spring of 2020. Originally it will be in schools in Kentucky but they do have a national and worldwide plan for the project to follow.



 
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