Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
“Rachel’s Challenge” is an anti-bullying”program that has been implemented at Benoist Farms Elementary. Rachel Scott was one of the students in the Columbine High School Incident in 1999, and after that tragic event her father, along with over twenty other certified presenters traveled all over the country delivering the message of kindness and compassion, which were two traits that characterized Rachel Scott.
According to the guidelines, Rachel’s Challenge is about igniting a “chain reaction of kindness,” because, as she wrote in her diaries “…people will never know how far a little kindness can go.” Benoist Farms students were asked to focus on how Rachel lived her life and the challenges she set forth for all: Influence, Goal setting, Journal recording, Acceptance and Kindness.
Throughout the year, students and staff filled out paper chains with statements of kind and compassionate actions they had witnessed from others. The links were chained together in each classroom, celebrating all the acts of kindness and compassion. At the beginning of this school year (in the School District of Palm Beach County) students and staff connected all the chains and created a “School Wide Chain Reaction of Kindness and Compassion.”
Rachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school.
The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting which occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County in the State of Colorado. In addition to shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and bombs rigged in cars. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher. They injured 24 additional students, with three other people being injured while attempting to escape the school. The pair then committed suicide.
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office - Oct. 2013