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Labette County Students Inspired to Stop Bullying with Rachel's - KOAM TV 7

Labette County Students Inspired to Stop Bullying with Rachel's Challenge

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  Every school has to deal with bullying.  
    At Labette County high school, students are  hearing about  Rachel's challenge, presented by the father of the first Columbine school shooting victim.
 
The shootings at Columbine changed 
Darrell Scott's life. His daughter Rachel was the first killed and his son watched his two friends get murdered but he now uses words from Rachel's diaries to inspire change in students. 

Darrell Scott says, "This is the only way her dreams could become a reality because she died at age 17 and she wanted to touch  the world with kindness and compassion."
 
Hundreds of student hear his anti-bullying message.
Derrick Reeves says, "I could definitely  start speaking kinder to people, I'm a  bit of a jerk  sometimes."

Sequoyah Thomas a freshman says she learned to, "be their friends, walk them through the steps, make sure no ones being mean to them." 

Rachel wrote about starting a chain reaction so her dad created Rachel's challenge.
He told hundreds of students to start by looking for the best in others.

Labette County high school  started a Rachel's Challenge club six years ago after an earlier presentation. It has about fifty members actively working to spread kindness.

Principal Marty Anderson says, "I've seen students make  a difference in students lives. Students that would normally be sitting alone at a table,  people will choose to go,  sit down with a total stranger, and introduce themselves and make that individual feel comfortable. Its a choice.

Alex Martin a sophomore and club member says, "I  used  to bully a little bit but when I got in Rachel's challenge I  stopped it   because I felt bad for people."

Members visit grade schools giving talks about bullying and why its important to open up to each other.
They've also  created a wall where high school  students express their individuality.
President Bayleigh Smith says, "We feel if you don't know the actual  person you don't know how they work. We want to encourage  people getting to know each other."

And club members are  challenged to give compliments. Students see the benefits. 
 Shelby Fausnaught says, "Kind words in one sentence could change someone's entire perspective,  entire day."

Taylore Kusel a junior says, "It just makes them  feel better about themselves maybe have more confidence."

Scott says Rachel's challenge changes attitudes and  has prevented teen suicides.

"The thing that touches me the deepest is when we hear from a kid contemplating suicide. 
They said because of Rachel's story  and people in their school after Rachel's story  treating them  better, they changed their mind about taking their life. That touches me  the deepest.  But it also touches me deeply for kids that have been bullied or kids that  have been made fun of because of sexual orientation, or color, or clothes to say people are beginning to treat me with kindness, that's fulfilling.

 

Scott says of Rachel's current reach, "She was impacting a handful of people at her school when she was alive and through her  story and her legacy now, millions are being impacted. But I would give all  that up to have her back.





 

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