A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Themes include race and how it impacts people's perceptions of who is academically capable. Poverty, mentorship, and working hard for your dreams are also discussed.
Positive Role Models
Principal Peters is committed and empathetic, and places high expectations on students. Some students are more academically inclined than others.
Violence & Scariness
Fights between students happen (weapons used but not visible). Fears about student safety sometimes an issue.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dating, boyfriend issues. Sex occasionally (and subtly) addressed.
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Racial slurs, cursing muted. Occasional insults.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Risky behaviors discussed, including getting involved in drugs, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that American High School is a documentary series that follows students at a predominantly black South Carolina high school. Racism, and how it impacts the way students feel about themselves, and the way others feel about their abilities, is discussed. It also addresses common high school-related themes like school violence (but no weapons or fighting shown), dating (and potential issues relating to pairing up), and other behaviors. Poverty, the role of sports in getting an education, and other issues are also examined. Racial slurs and cursing are muted. The importance of mentorship and working hard for your dreams are also themes.
Is It Any Good?
This insightful docuseries offers an inside look into what life is like for black students in a public school system that's become increasingly segregated over time. It highlights many of the challenges that some of these students face, including living in a systemic cycle of poverty, a lack of emotional support, and coping with the underlying prejudice they must face every day.
Watching these students experience rites of passage like taking national tests, worrying about college acceptances, dating, and attending prom is standard documentary fare. But some scenes feel more voyeuristic than others, especially when cameras record conversations between Principal Peters and struggling students. Nonetheless, American High School offers a compelling look at what life is like coming of age in a predominantly black public high school.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.