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This photo shows the book "Thirteen Reasons Why" in a photo illustration Monday, May 15, 2017, in Phoenix. As a Colorado community mourns the loss of seven students who killed themselves, a top school district official ordered librarians to temporarily stop circulating a book that's the basis for Netflix's popular new series "13 Reasons Why," which some critics say romanticizes suicide. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A Colorado school district pulled 'Thirteen Reasons Why' from its library's shelves


In response to the recent suicide deaths of seven students, a school district in Colorado told librarians to temporarily take the book that served as inspiration for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" off its shelves, The Denver Post reported.

The decision has led to some librarians claming censorship, while critics say the book romanticizes suicide, igniting a debate over the merits of balancing the freedom of speech with concerns about student safety.  The book has since been put back on shelves. 

“It would be hard for anybody who has dealt with suicide to not have a heightened awareness of things, to perhaps be a little more cautious about things,” said Leigh Grasso.

Grasso is the curriculum director for Mesa County Valley School District -- which has 22,000 students -- and is the person who decided to pull the book.

Grasso has not read the book or watched the series, but cited media attention and recent events as reason enough to pull the book in her email to the librarians. 

Of the 20 copies of the book available in the school district, 19 were checked out at the time the decision came down, meaning they were unaffected by the order. 

The book was made available again after it was determined that it did not contain any scenes as graphic as those depicted in the online series. 

Some are confused by U.S. schools' sudden motivation to address suicide.  

Others are lamenting the loss of an opportunity to discuss such serious issues. 

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