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Students challenged to replace bullying with kindness

3 years 3 months 1 week ago August 26, 2013 Aug 26, 2013 Monday, August 26 2013 August 26, 2013 4:56 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Rebecca Buchanan

DONALDSONVILLE- Students at Lowery Middle School were challenged today to create a chain reaction of kindness through "Rachel's Challenge."

Rachel Joy Scott was killed in the Columbine Shooting in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. Two masked students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students, one teacher and themselves. Rachel was the first victim killed in the tragedy.

After Rachel's death, her family found diaries filled with ideas about spreading kindness in the world. Rachel had a dream to be an ambassador for kindness, and she had a plan. In her diary she wrote about reaching out to every student that was picked on, had special needs, or was new to school. She wanted to start a chain reaction of kindness and it started with her. Even though she's gone, "Rachel's Challenge" is still very much alive.

"We've received over 500 letters from students who said that they were planning on taking their own lives until they saw a "Rachel's Challenge" event at their school," explained DeeDee Cooper, a presenter for the Rachel's Challenge organization.

Cooper travels the country sharing Rachel's story and inspiring people to become links in her chain of kindness that she started before that fateful day, 14 years ago, when she lost her life to the hands of someone who needed a kind word.

"It's not something that you can just say but it's something that you can do and when you treat people with kindness and compassion and with respect and you know that everyone is going through something and they just need you to look out for them it actually changes a community and you see it become a better place," said Cooper.

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