Schools take up Rachel's Challenge

A picture of Rachel Scott is shown at event. / Allen Carter

She died more than 12 years ago, the first person killed in the shootings at Columbine High School, but Rachel Scott's life is still touching others.

"My daughter said she wanted to issue a chain reaction that would ripple around the world," said Rachel's father Darrell Scott.

Darrell Scott was in town talking to area leaders and educators about Rachel's Challenge, a plan aimed at combating school bullying and promoting kindness.

The challenge is based on a five part code of ethics Rachel wrote in her diary a month before she died.

"The challenge is to eliminate prejudice to look at other people, to be conscious of our words, because our words can heal and our words can hurt, and to dare to dream, to set goals in our lives and to believe in ourselves," said Darrell Scott.

Now leaders from the Rachel's Challenge organization will come into 14 schools, putting a plan in place to reach all the students.

No school system is picking up the bill it was paid for by Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

"Phoebe knew that it was its responsibility to get involved, to make sure that a healthy community means helping its children," said Darrell Sabbs, Community Benefits Coordinator for the hospital.

"Now that the talking is over, the ball is in Dougherty County's court, and not just for the schools, but the entire community.

"The challenge is our community embracing it. That kind of partnership and that kind of support will just have a ripple effect and we are going to see a phenomenal support and partnering that will help our schools and our system and our community," said Sabbs.