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Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 4:56pm

Hatch Valley students accept Rachel's Challenge

Monica Cortez(KTSM)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 5:08pm

Hatch Valley High School students took on a special challenge Wednesday, and some were inspired to do the right thing and put an end to bullying.

"I just want to talk to them and tell them I’m really sorry I hurt them," were the words of one student who confessed her inner guilt in front of her peers.

Students apologizing in front of their peers for their bad behavior, isn't something that happens every day.

But in one Hatch New Mexico high school, that's exactly what took place.

"I made you feel sad and I didn't mean to I love you," said another student with tears running down her face as she directed this comment to her cousin.

Hundreds of middle and high school students gathered at Hatch Valley High School for an emotional presentation aimed at reducing violence and prejudice that roams every school's hallways.

"The goal is to get these students to believe they can change the culture of their school,” said Rachel’s Campaign Activist JB Braden. “So when they come to school they don't feel ignored, but they can start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.”

Rachel’s Challenge is an international kindness campaign started by the parents of a 16-year-old who was killed when two teens opened fire at Columbine High School.

"Rachel was one of the first people to be killed in the columbine shooting which was at the time one of the worst shootings in America," said Braden.

Rachel left behind diaries of how she wanted to spread kindness all over the world.

One student said she was inspired by the presentation and hopes the bullying at her school stops.

"There is bullying going on in our school and that could stop,” said 7th grader Makayla Viegas. “I want to change, like being more nice to people and helping people out if they need help.”

At the end of the presentation students were challenged to pledge their kindness toward others, signing a poster that will hang at the every Hatch campus with the goal of becoming a better person.

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