Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine High School shootings in April 1999. This week, on the first day of school Aug. 26, her uncle, Larry Scott of Littleton, Colo., visited Glen Crest Middle School to share her story.
After Rachel's death, her family found an essay, journals and writings in her bedroom that explained her outlook on life. From that discovery Rachel’s Challenge was organized and went national. From the Rachel's Challenge website:
"Each day 160,000 students do not go to school because they are bullied, teased and harassed. By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Rachel's Challenge is helping create safer learning environments and making a world-wide impact."
The elements of Rachel’s Challenge are:
- Look for the best in people
- Dare to dream
- Be kind and choose positive influences
- Keep a journal
- Speak with kindness
- Start your own kindness chain reaction
While Glen Crest's new sixth-graders just learned the story behind Rachel’s Challenge, the school has been a part of the Friends of Rachel Club for the past year.
Glen Crest’s Assistant Principal John Batiste challenged students to create a positive school climate where everyone can feel happy and safe. Scott urged the students to keep a journal, and to develop a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.
“People never know how far a little kindness will go," he said. "Look for the best in your principal, teachers and classmates. It will make you a better person. Dare to dream, write down your goals.”
Tuesday, Aug. 27, the entire student body signed the Rachel’s Challenge banner that was hung in the entrance hall of the school.
The Friends of Rachel meeting schedule is available in the Glen Crest Main office.