Columbia, SC (WLTX)- The author of the book "13 Reasons Why," a story of a teenage girl who commits suicide and leaves several tapes behind detailing her reasons for her actions, was in the Richland County Library Saturday.
A couple dozen people attended and listened to Jay Asher talk about bullying, suicide, writing and publishing.
He was asked about the criticism around the book, which some have said glorifies suicide. "I've had teens reach out to me that say this book and this series that have done so many positive things in my life other people are saying I shouldn't have had a chance to watch it," he said in response.
The conversation after his presentation was honest and tearful for some.
There were tables of resources in the back including the Palmetto Counseling Associates and the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands.
We reached out to Richland School District Two to get a statement on their anti-bullying programs and here's what they said:
"All of our schools stress character development using programs such as Leader in Me, Capturing Kids Hearts, Mentor-Mentee School Based Mentoring Programs and Lunch and Reading Buddies programs.
"To ensure a high level of quality throughout all programs, the district established a District Wide Mentoring framework. The framework serves a guide for all character development programs. Our purpose for focusing on character development is simple…..we want to help students build a strong support system, to learn to appreciate and value the importance of setting goals, to understand how to accomplish those goals and to develop their own life principles so they have a clear path toward what they want to achieve. The core principles of Richland Two's Mentoring Framework are Goal Setting, Life Principles, and Service to the Community."
A district mentoring committee sponsored district-wide events to celebrate mentors and mentees. These include Girls and Pearls, Bowties and Brunch, and a Spring Mentoring Conference for boys.