Rachel’s Challenge coming to Battlefield

S.A.L.C. helps tragic teen’s story spread kindness


Rebecca Cutsinger, Author

Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in the tragedy of Columbine High School 18 years ago; she was 17. She was one of 13 students to die that day along with another 24 injured. This tragedy was only the beginning of her legacy.

Rachel’s parents started a foundation called Rachel’s Challenge after finding Rachel’s journals and reading her hopes for wide spread kindness, compassion, and a decrease in school bullying. The mission for Rachel’s Challenge, found at rachelschallenge.org, is “Making schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect; and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest.”

Rachel wrote in one of her journals before her death, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” The foundation says that since Rachel’s death her legacy has touched over 22 million people and is the foundation for creating programs that promote a positive climate in K-12 schools.    

The new leadership class at B.H.S., known as the Student Activity Leadership Course (S.A.L.C.), is hosting members from the organization so that Rachel’s Challenge can be implemented at Battlefield. On the morning of September 24th, Battlefield students will hear a representative from Rachel’s Challenge speak about her life, her legacy, and how to start her “chain reaction.” Following these two assemblies, the S.A.L.C. students and teachers will be privately trained on how to further the impact of Rachel’s Challenge and continue the effort throughout the year. The evening of the 25th, at 7:00 PM, there will be a community event at Battlefield for parents and other members of our community to come hear Rachel’s story.

The S.A.L.C. program is currently working hard to prepare the school for Rachel’s message and keeping her legacy alive. S.A.L.C. has three different sub-groups dedicated for Rachel’s Challenge; a sub-group for community outreach, school outreach, and media outreach. Respectively, the community outreach team hopes to be able to take what Battlefield learns and carry it to other schools in our area including Bull Run Middle School and Ronald Reagan Middle School. The media team has created a twitter page (@battlefieldSALC) to get students and the community more involved as the year goes on and as B.H.S. continues to carry on Rachel’s message. They are working on creating other social media pages and getting the word out to our community as well. Battlefield’s school outreach team is working on putting posters up and creating a bulletin board dedicated to Rachel’s challenge.

The hope is to remind students of Rachel’s message all throughout the year and drive home the school and community wide impact. Through Rachel Joy Scott, a massive tragedy transformed into a victory of hope, community, success and kindness that has and will touch millions of hearts around the world.