Suicide Prevention Panel at LPHS Today

Jay Asher, author of the York Times best-selling novel Thirteen Reasons Why, and The Future of Us (co-authored by Carolyn Mackler), is visiting Lake Placid Middle/High School on Thursday, March 20 to give a presentation to grades 8 through 12, meet with students, and participate in an evening panel event open to the community.

Thirteen Reasons Why is a novel about a teen suicide, and the bullying and casual cruelty that led up to it. Since its publication in 2007, the book has gained thousands of fans worldwide—teens who connect with the book’s message of tolerance and compassion. Lake Placid students were introduced to the book back in September, during a presentation by Coach Rich Johns, founder of Act With Respect Always, who used the book as an example of what happens when respect and kindness are forgotten.

Jay Asher was asked about the effect his writing has had on teens. “When I wrote Thirteen Reasons Why, I felt confident that teens would understand and appreciate the ideas I wanted to talk about in the book. And I’ve received many inspiring letters from readers saying it made them more conscious of how they treat others, as well as the importance of really reaching out when they need help and not simply dropping hints. With adults, my fingers were crossed that they would see this as an opportunity to begin a dialogue with teens about some important issues. Thankfully, they’ve jumped at the chance. It’s been wonderful to hear about some of the conversations that have started. Of course, simply hearing that they loved the book is great, too!”

Jay Asher’s visit is being jointly sponsored by Lake Placid Central School and Lake Placid/Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities (CYC). CYC is also sponsoring a free evening panel presentation at 7 p.m. in the Lake Placid Middle/High School auditorium on suicide prevention that is open to the entire community. Jay Asher will join Laura Marx, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Shelby Davis, Mental Health Association, to answer questions about suicide and the effects of bullying.

For more information, contact Anne Paulson, 523-2474, ext. 4132 or Tina Clark, 523-2474, ext. 4008.

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