"Rachel's Challenge" inspires Loch Raven Technical Academy students to promote tolerance


The students of Loch Raven Technical Academy experienced a very timely, emotional, and meaningful presentation entitled "Rachel's Challenge," on September 12, 2012.

Students were introduced to the story of Rachel Joy Scott, a student who was killed in the Columbine school shooting disaster 13 years ago.  The speaker, a friend of Rachel's family, presented live footage from the day of the Columbine tragedy, interviews with Rachel's family, and excerpts from her schoolwork and journal. 

Loch Raven students were visibly affected by the presentation. Many were moved to tears by the story of a young girl who tried always to be a light to those around her. Rachel was a visionary who believed that one kind act could begin a chain reaction of good deeds, eventually causing everyone to be kind to one another. This was, in a way, her life's mission and her legacy. 


While seeing and listening to Rachel's story, students were challenged to look for the best in others and eliminate prejudice; treat others the way they want to be treated; speak words of kindness – not cruelty; choose positive influences; and forgive themselves and others. These actions are an effort to reduce hatred, bullying, and violence in schools. 

Students who committed to accept the challenge signed a banner, which now hangs in the school lobby.  A student committee has also been formed to carry on Rachel's ideas and promote peace and tolerance at Loch Raven Technical Academy through various school activities. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.  The chain reaction of evil must be broken."  Rachel's challenge encourages every student to overcome darkness and hatred, make the right choices, and work to make schools a place of acceptance, peace, and community.

Story and photos submitted by Emily Mello, Good News Ambassador and Spanish teacher, Loch Raven Technical Academy
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