Columbine High School victim's legacy lives on with YISD students

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 5:13pm

Thursday evening, approximately 1,000 Ysleta Independent School District students, parents and grandparents are expected to attend a very special assembly at Central Office as part of Rachel's Challenge, a nationwide anti-bullying campaign that seeks to create a pay-it-forward culture of kindness and compassion.

Each of YISD's 64 schools were allowed to invite five families to Thursday's assembly, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. and is not open to the general public. The assembly will feature an inspirational speaker and video footage from the national nonprofit Rachel's Challenge, which was created in the memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.

According to the Rachel's Challenge website, the main component of its campaign is to give a spellbinding and impassioned assembly that tells Rachel's story and inspires a desire for change among students. The assembly is followed up with student training and the establishment of Rachel's Challenge school clubs.

YISD officials say bringing Rachel's Challenge to its schools is a great way to help prevent bullying and motivate students to start a "chain reaction" of kindness and compassion both inside and outside the classroom.

In addition to Thursday's assembly, select students from YISD middle schools and high schools and all YISD counselors are expected to participate in a "Chain Reaction" training workshop on Friday at Central Office. This training will teach them how to implement strategies of Rachel's Challenge, which they can take back to their individual campuses and share with fellow students and staff.

Those interested in learning more about Rachel's Challenge can go to their website: http://www.rachelschallenge.org

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