The Rachel Scott story
Published: Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Rachel's Challenge was hosted by the Students for a Better Society on Monday night at the Hughes-Trigg Theater. This event told the story of Rachel Scott, the first of 13 to be killed at the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999.
The event retell the story of Rachel Scott, and challenged SMU students to show compassion for their fellow people.
Her family started Rachel's Challenge, when they began visiting schools around the nation, inspiring over 11 million people by retelling the life of their daughter.
Six weeks before Rachel was killed, she wrote an essay called "My Ethics, My Codes of Life." In this essay she wrote, "Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer." She practiced compassion every day with small interactions, or a smile in the hallway. Rachel's Challenge is encouraging all people to make an impact on the lives of those around them.
Rachel intervened with two boys who were picking on a disabled student at Columbine. This student later revealed to Rachel's family that the week he met Rachel, he was planning on killing himself. She screwed up his plan and changed his life forever.
The speaker Dave Gamache told a story of a man who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. A note was found at his house that read: "I'm going to the bridge today, if one person smiles at me, I won't jump." No one smiled.
Rachel's Challenge presents five guidelines that Rachel chose to live her life by and encourages everyone to follow these same guidelines.
The first is to eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others. Rachel was killed by the same prejudices that killed Anne Frank. The two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold chose April 20 because it was Hitler's birthday.
Rachel's brother, Craig, witnessed two of his friends killed during the columbine massacre. One friend Isaiah, a black, was being made fun of by Harris and Klebold because he was black and then they killed him.
"The last thing he heard in his life was racial slurs being made against him," said Craig Scott in a video shown at the event.
The second guideline: dare to dream, set goals and keep a journal. Rachel's words of wisdom come from the six diaries found after she was killed.
The third guideline is to choose your influences. It was found months later that the killers Harris and Klebold had watched "Natural Born Killers" over 200 times.
The fourth is that small acts of kindness make a huge impact. During her life, Rachel reached out to three types of students, the disabled, students who were new in school and students who were being picked on or put down. These acts of kindness changed the lives of these students.
The last guideline encourages students to make an impact on people's lives and to start a chain reaction with family and friends.
"…Test them for yourself, and see the kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you. You just may start a chain reaction." said Rachel Scott in her essay.
By the end of the event, members of the audience were in tears, stood up and gave a standing ovation.
"It was phenomenal, the love, care and compassion she showed is something I hope to emulate in my own life," said sophomore Nick Elledge.