Recently, Netflix aired the series 13 Reasons Why. It depicts the story of a high school community, and how their lives are shattered when one of the students, Hannah Baker, kills herself. The 13 reasons for her suicide are laid out on a series of tapes, which are sent to the people she holds responsible for her death.
The series has split critics down the middle, and mental health professionals have questioned Netflix’s decision to air the series, afraid it might lead to copycat instances and paint the wrong picture about suicide. However, where the series succeeds is in giving a wake-up call to parents, students, and educational professionals. The suicide rate amongst teenagers has risen considerably over the years, and it is our responsibility to understand why this is happening.
If you have the heart to help our young people and be there on the front line, an online masters school counseling course is one way forward.
The following are just some of the factors that can lead to the stresses of a student’s life. It is not meant to be exhaustive and is only a guide.
Bullying is not a new phenomenon. It happens in every school and can be physical through acts of violence, and emotional, such as purposefully excluding someone or spreading false rumors. With the rise of social media, cyberbullying has now become a serious problem, and once something is posted online about somebody, it is often difficult to remove it. For the bully, they cannot see the harm they are doing to their victim, and so acts of cruelty online are now commonplace.
Parents and school staff need to take the problem seriously. When somebody comes to you for help, don’t dismiss the problem, even if you think it is insignificant.
Many teenagers have an issue with their self-image. The media and peer pressure have given students an unfair expectation on how they should look. Being too fat or thin can lead to bullying from others, and parents and teachers can unwittingly cause a problem by advocating better body shape for sport and competitive activities.
Signs of eating disorders, such as anorexia, are skipping meal times, using laxatives and self-harming.
Our young people are bombarded with SAT tests and exams. Parents, teachers, and other students can cause extra pressure during these difficult times. Towards the end of high school, there is further stress when it comes time to choose what college to attend. Often, students are overwhelmed by the opinions of parents, peers, and teachers who push them into a direction they do not want to take.
Young people need acceptance, attention, and love. To fit into high school culture, some students feel forced to have sex before they are emotionally ready. Addictions such as drugs and alcohol are an increasing problem in our schools too, and students conform to the pressure to experiment. Relationships may be strained at home too with parents and siblings, and divorce can be an added source of anxiety.
Beyonce’s newly unearthed High School photos prove that she had a flawless smile and impeccable hair long before she was famous.
Beyonce, now 31, the musical megastar attended Welch Middle School in Houston, Texas, where her 13-year-old self was captured for prosperity in the 8th grade year book.
In the black and white photo that looks like it could be from a professional shoot, Beyonce beams to the camera confidently as her signature long hair is knotted on the top of her head and tumbles down over her shoulders.
Beyonce began dancing in elementary school, but when her dance teacher realized that she could hit all the high notes to a tune, she began tapping into that hidden talent instead.
By the age of 8 she was already auditioning with an all-girl entertainment group with childhood friend – and future star – Kelly Rowland, called Girl’s Thyme.
A spot on Star Search, the biggest entertainment talent show in America at the time, failed to win the band a victory however, and it would be a few more years before fame came knocking on their doors.
In the meantime, Beyonce Knowles enrolled in the Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and her freshman yearbook photo from 1996 reveals her ever-blossoming beauty and innate style.
With her hair now silky smooth and straight, Beyonce still had her polished smile and unblemished image.
Unlike most high school kids who are tortured by bad skin, breakouts or braces, the Dreamgirls star appeared to be camera-ready at all times.
Wearing a pinafore dress with a long-sleeved white jumper underneath, her taste in fashion was certainly a lot more conservative than the outfits that fans are now used to her wearing.
While still a school girl, the future pop star was working hard on her path to stardom thanks to the encouragement of her father, Matthew, and mother, Tina, who designed all her costumes.
Beyonce’s newly unearthed High School photos
By 1996 when her high school year book photo was shot, the group (who had changed their name to Destiny’s Child) won a contract with Columbia Records and began recording their first album under an agreement with Sony Music.
According to reports, Beyonce never actually got her high school diploma because she dropped out before graduation to tour with the girls’ group.
In 1997, the band released their debut major label song called Killing Time, which was featured on the Men In Black soundtrack, and went on to have huge hits including Jumpin’ Jumpin’ and Say My Name.
Since then Beyonce has catapulted to worldwide fame and global domination with huge hits such as Irreplaceable and the 2010 Grammy winning Song of the Year, Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).
Every heroine needs a sidekick, and with husband of five years, Jay-Z, by her side, Beyonce has gone from strength to strength.
The power couple welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012, and recently tell-tale signs have sparked rumors that they are expecting their second child.
“I would like more children. I think my daughter needs company. I definitely love being a big sister and at some point when it’s supposed to happen,” Beyonce told Good Morning America on May 6, while keeping mum about whether she was expecting again or not.
“My biggest job in the world is to protect my daughter and I am very protective. I just want to make sure that she can have a healthy, safe, normal life.
“I feel really, really just lucky that I can still do what I love and now have a way bigger meaning, and that’s to be her mother.”
Beyonce – who is the voice of Queen Tara in the upcoming animated film, Epic – is currently globe-trotting on The Mrs. Carter World Tour.
During a performance in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday night she got a bum-slapping surprise in the middle of a sing-a-long for Irreplaceable as a fan outstretched his arm out to touch her bottom!
In video footage capturing the moment, Beyonce is seen turning around and looking shocked as the crowd gasp at the man’s action, before she threatens to have him thrown out of the concert.
Looking directly at the slapper, she can be heard saying: “I will have you escorted out right now, alright?”
The next stop on the European leg of her tour is Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday, before Beyonce moves on to Stockholm, Sweden, and then Antwerp in Belgium on Friday – where hopefully none of the audience will overstep respectful boundaries.
Earlier this month, Beyonce fueled the second pregnancy speculation when she had to cancel a gig at Antwerp’s Sportpaleis due to “dehydration” and “exhaustion”, after which she promised fans she would make it up to them by returning and putting on a great show.