Cape to use Columbine tragedy in promoting positive behavior

Program created in victim's name stresses kindness
January 21, 2013
Rachel's Challenge will be used by Cape Henlopen High School to promote positive behavior. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Cape Henlopen High School hopes to find inspiration from the words of a student who died at Columbine.

As part of the school's ongoing Positive Behavior Support program, Cape Henlopen High School will hold a school and community event Wednesday, Jan. 30, to combat negativity and promote compassion.

The school assembly will feature a speaker from Rachel's Challenge – a program created in memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. Her brother, Craig, was in the library with his best friends when the shooters came in. In an article offering condolences to families of victims in the recent Newtown shootings, he describes how he hid under a table with his friends as the shooters fired. His friends died on the spot; Craig said he survived by playing dead.

After Rachel's death and Craig's story of survival, her family created the program to honor her memory. It's based on her writings about practicing kindness and compassion in order to eliminate violence and hatred.

Rachel’s inspiring story provides a simple, yet powerful example of how small acts of kindness and acceptance motivate us to consider our relationships with the people we come in contact with every day, wrote high school counselor Chris Mattioni in a press release.

"Rachel’s Challenge renews our hope that our life has meaning and purpose. Rachel’s story gives us permission to start our own chain reaction of kindness and compassion, which positively affects the climate in our schools and communities," Mattioni said.

Cape Henlopen Education Foundation and Cape Henlopen High School PBS Team provided funding for Rachel’s Challenge.

A community event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre. Recommended audience is sixth grade and up. For more information, call Cape Henlopen High School at 302-645-7711.


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