13 Reasons Why's fourth and final season waded into fresh drama thanks to a hyper-realistic active shooter drill featured in the sixth episode. As viewers tuned in to watch the final season, many flocked to social media to call out the episode, which many felt was too realistic and may be triggering to some viewers. Warning: This post contains spoilers for 13 Reasons Why Season 4, Episode 6, "Thursday."
After showing Tyler Down with a stash of guns in Season 1 and a thwarted school shooting in Season 2, Season 4 seemed to finally made students’ fears a reality when a "Code Red," signaling an active shooter in the school, was called, prompting Liberty High School students to lock and barricade themselves in rooms. Throughout the episode, viewers watched as students jarred with each gunshot fired, cried, and said what they believed to be their final goodbyes to loved ones. At the end of the episode, it is discovered that it was just an active shooter drill, complete with blank gunshots, teachers rattling doorknobs to make it seem as though the shooter was attempting to get into rooms, and a SWAT team.
Although some praised the episode for tackling something that is a reality for many high schoolers, other viewers criticized the Netflix original series. Many took issue with the fact that this was just the latest example of the series utilizing school shootings for entertainment, while others slammed the show for allegedly not putting a warning ahead of the episode. Currently, 13 Reasons Why airs a warning for suicide, and a slide reading, "The following episode contains images of school violence which some viewers may find disturbing. It is intended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is advised," airs before Episode 6. It is unclear if that message was initially aired or later added. Keep scrolling to see how social media reacted to the controversial and emotional episode.
#13ReasonsWhy is a wildly irresponsible show. As an educator... watching this school shooting episode is dreadful. Why would they make Clay do this... why? And the ghost sequences... fucking ridiculous and out of place— Millennial In Debt (@millindebt) June 7, 2020
So currently binging season 4 of 13 reasons why, and episode 6 is a controversial topic with an actual school shooting, be careful if u watch— Zeke Ramos (@ZekeRamos6) June 5, 2020
⚠️ #spoilers Alright.
Episode 6 is extremely hard. Imma spill it but it’s about a school shooting. I don’t think anyone should watch who has been in this situation. They went all in. And I’m honestly not ok with it. I’ve cried the whole time #13ReasonsWhy #13reasonswhyseason4— SassyJacks (@SassyJacksie) June 5, 2020
Am I the only one who is traumatized by the school shooting scene in 13 reasons why 😢— MARS🪐 (@tiinyplanet) June 7, 2020
That shit happens in reality and my heart is aching
not 13 reasons why having an episode around a school shooting where armed forces use rubber bullets AND at the end a white character taunts the cops but faces little consequences while irl there are literally protests about black citizens dying for doing the exact same...— molly #blm (@m_ollymac) June 6, 2020
Damn 13 reasons why pulling the school shooting card AGAIN that’s bold— noah (@melloncoIIies) June 8, 2020
I understand the intention of @13ReasonsWhy dedicating an episode to a school shooting drill bc its an unfortunate reality students in the US face... But to STAGE a realistic active drill and purposefully putting minors under stressed was absolutely unacceptable #13ReasonsWhy. pic.twitter.com/v0KrUmwvB4— cathy cakes 🎂 (@cathioskaa) June 8, 2020
I’ve stood up for #13reasonswhy all this time. But season 4 episode 6. No. Unacceptable. You can’t use the true, raw, real-life fear of a school shooting for dramatic effect and then make it a “drill.” I just lost respect for every single person involved in this show.— Kristen Beatty (@Kbskate) June 7, 2020
TW#13ReasonsWhy 4x6....I just have no words. The school shooting scenario is smth close to my heart. I have literally cried through this whole episode 🥺— BLM (@acciolucifers) June 6, 2020
episode 6 is so unnecessary a whole episode full of scenes that would be triggering for many american students about a school shooting that was only a drill which had had fake gunfire wtf #13ReasonsWhy #13reasonswhy4— 𝖒𝖆𝖎𝖘𝖎𝖊 (@maisiieex) June 5, 2020
with the amount of backlash 13 reasons why got the writers still said 'nah put a school shooting in there' like ARE YOU KIDDING ME LMAOOOOOOOOOO— alex 💅🤡 (@vibecenterusa) June 7, 2020
@13ReasonsWhy Episode 6 was disgustingly written, romanticizing a school shooting, acting like a school would pull such a "drill" as though wouldnt cause PTSD among all students present. MSD was my school, we practiced drills, but nothing like this garbage. #13reasonswhyseason4— Renee Ruddy (@ReneeRudds) June 6, 2020
Why 13 reasons why always got a school shooting going on? #13reasonswhy4— Kay 💕’ (@speaking0fkayy) June 5, 2020
13 reasons why having an entire episode revolving around a school shooting that turns out to be fake without any trigger warnings at the beginning of the episode??— n (@kissykiwie) June 8, 2020