Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. The FHS Ninth Grade Center will host a community event at 6:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 13) at the FHS Performing Arts Center that all are welcome to attend.
Her life goes beyond that fateful day, though, as her story still lives on 18 years later with the non-profit organization Rachel’s Challenge that began shortly after she and 12 others were killed by students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
Frenship ISD’s FHS Ninth Grade Center (NGC) will welcome Rachel’s Challenge — an organization that helps to create a school climate less susceptible to harassment, bullying and violence — Monday (Nov. 13) to provide a sustainable, evidence-based framework for promoting a positive climate and culture in school.
Former Texas Tech football player Cody Hodges will speak to the students twice during the school day at 9:20 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and will follow with a community event later that evening at 6:30 p.m. in the FHS Performing Arts Center that all are welcome to attend.
NGC Assistant Principal Heather Wainscott said she knew that when she received the job as assistant principal at the FHS Ninth Grade Center that they had to bring in Rachel’s Challenge.
She wrote a grant proposal in May and found out in September that the proposal to bring in the organization was accepted.
“My brother Cody Hodges has been speaking with this amazing organization for 11+ years, and I have heard this message countless times,” she said. “Rachel’s Challenge has impacted my life every single time I have listened to this powerful presentation.”
Rachel’s Challenge began after her death when many of her classmates reached out to the Scott family to share their stories about her simple acts of kindness and the affect she had on other students’ lives, even preventing one young man from taking his own life.
The family soon realized the transformational effect of their daughter’s story and started the non-profit organization that lives today.
The mission of the organization is to make schools safer, where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect, and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest.
More than 1.5 million people are involved in Rachel’s Challenge programs today and also has created a reduction in bullying, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.
“A positive cultural climate is crucial to the success of any campus,” Wainscott said. “It desires to increase positive relationships between student to student and students to faculty, while also having a higher overall campus climate that leads to increased academic success.”
Wainscott said the community event Monday night is a must for the Frenship community.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a student, parent, grandparent or stakeholder in the community,” she said. “Everyone can listen and benefit from hearing Rachel’s personal story of creating a chain reaction of kindness and compassion throughout the Ninth Grade Center and the Lubbock-Wolfforth community.
“I hope that by bringing Rachel’s Challenge to the Frenship community will charge every student to help promote a campus that is free from harassment and bullying.”
The community event is free to attend.
To learn more about Rachel Joy Scott and her story, visit the Rachel’s Challenge website.