Father of Student Killed in Columbine School Shooting Spreads Message of Kindness
“It’s more than a presentation. People experience something that changes them,” said Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott who was killed in the Columbine High School shooting.
A shooting that robbed 13 people of their lives.
Rachel Scott was the first person killed that day.
Her family has spent the last 20 years working to tell her story and spread a very important message.
“The main message is around my daughter’s story is she wanted to start a chain reaction of kindness,” said Scott.
Rachel Scott was eating lunch outside Columbine High School when she was shot and killed 20 years ago.
But just weeks before, she wrote an essay called, “My Ethics, My Codes of Life”.
That essay is now the basis for her father, Darrell Scott’s mission.
“She said I have this theory that if one person would go out of their way to show compassion that it would start a chain reaction,” said Scott. “Although she was fairly popular, had a lot of friends, she went out of her way to reach out to the kids no one was reaching out to and those stories we builds lessons around those stories.”
Darrell created “Rachel’s Challenge” in hopes he could take his daughter’s compassion and inspire others to build on her mission.
“I realized the impact her story was having on lives and so we slowly moved towards schools and started to do assemblies,” said Scott.
“Let’s focus on the mental health. Let’s spend time really thinking about the whole child and educating the whole child, not just on the academics,” said Lori Tubbergen Clark, Newaygo County RESA Superintendent.
Newaygo Public Schools is rising up to Rachel’s Challenge.
In the past five years they’ve lost five kids to suicide.
“Mental health, that is the underlying cause of that is really what we need to focus on as an education system,” said Clark. “Use her story as an inspiration for empathy and compassion and teaching and modeling kindness to replace some of those behaviors that we see of bullying and discrimination and prejudice.”
“We call it Rachel’s Challenge for a reason because young people we have found rise to the challenge,” said Scott.