Thursday, December 04, 2014

50 States Against Bullying: UTAH

Stop number twenty-two on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign flew me to Utah. Still blocks away from my hotel, I noticed so many colorful lights in the distance. Christmas lights! As I got closer, "so many colorful lights" turned into sooooooo many colorful lights. They were beautiful from the ground, and just as beautiful from the seventh floor of my hotel.

Crazy, right? Ogden, Utah, baby!

It was easy to see I was in the right place when I arrived at Two Rivers High School.

Windows leading into the room where I'd speak were covered with #ReasonsWhyYouMatter cards. One particular card struck me as such a simple and pure truth, which so many continue to struggle to understand.

In my last post, I told you how inspired I am by students at the schools I visit. Now I need to tell you how inspired I am by so many faculty members and administrators at these schools. Even before this tour, on my regular author visits, some schools faced push-back from people who were uncomfortable bringing an author in to talk about the serious issues in Thirteen Reasons Why. But the schools recognized that this uncomfortableness and seriousness is exactly why we need to open or continue conversations in whatever ways work. So I have much respect for the people responsible for inviting me and making these visits happen.

These inspiring students are in great hands.

Speaking of inspiring! Ms. Cox continues to prove that she is one of the most inspiring teachers I've met in my seven years as an author. The programs she puts together for her students every year is astonishing. Before I left Two Rivers, she presented me with two writing journals made out of books. One was for me, and one for my son, Isaiah. Spiral-bound, they combine original pages from the books with blank pages.

The note she wrote in Isaiah's book brought me to tears.


Unknown said...

I got so much out of your presentation today. I love your book and hearing you talk about the impact it has had on so many people was not a surprise to me. I got to help in Mrs. Cox's class for the last few weeks and we had the wonderful opportunity of reading your book with her students. I saw it's deep influence on those students and it has changed me. Thank you!

Sabrina Steyling said...

Those journals are SO COOL! I want one too! :)