TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY
On April 20, 1999, America was rocked by one of the most senseless and brutal acts of violence that this generation had ever witnessed and it happened in the hallways of a seemingly peaceful suburban high school. That day a new form of terrorism entered our collective and individual conscience at Columbine High School, Colorado. No one could imagine why two students would so viciously kill fellow students and a teacher. But, slowly answers and lessons have emerged from the tragedy, which has led to the Rachel’s Challenge program for the public and private schools.
It has been documented that these two teenage boy killers, like high school violence preceding this tragedy, were ridiculed, teased and bullied in school to the point that they decided to take revenge by taking the lives of others. Hence, Chain Reaction Movement promotes not only pro-kindness in schools, but makes the student body sensitive to reaching out to others who are usually taken advantage of, bullied, or isolated from others.
Each of the 13 lives lost at Columbine was unique and precious. Rachel Joy Scott was one of them. In the months following the tragedy the story of Rachel’s life and dreams emerged from personal testimonies of friends and her own writings and drawings. Through her life and writings, Rachel challenged her generation to replace the violence and rage that exploded in the hallways at Columbine with kindness and compassion. She passionately believed that simple acts could start a chain reaction that would change her generation.
Out of the tragedy, Rachel’s father Darrell Scott founded an International initiative called Chain Reaction/Rachel's Challenge to carry on her dream that has become the leading pro-kindness school program in the U.S. with over 21 million people impacted by Rachel's challenge. Gary Simons, Director, serves on the International Board as he and Mary Samuels, Coordinator, and their committed team pioneer this effective school program in Bermuda as the model for the rest of the world.