Tuesday, December 2, 2008
"You May Just Start a Chain Reaction"
Today, our school hosted an assembly called "Rachel's Challenge." It was, hands down, the most powerful presentation I have ever seen on bullying, school violence, and the power of compassion to make a difference.
Rachel Scott, the inspiration for the presentation, was the first student shot and killed in the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999. Shortly after her death, her family found an essay she had written with her personal code of ethics. This, in addition to several journals that she wrote, outlines her belief in kindness to everyone. It sounds simple, but it was a powerful experience for me and for my students.
Here is her essay. If you can't read it, go here to see a larger version.
Ultimately, the assembly left each student with five challenges. I pass them on to you now, and I hope that they remind you of the difference that can be made by small kindnesses:
1) Eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others.
2) Dare to dream -- set goals and keep a journal
3) Choose positive influences
4) Use kind words and do small acts of kindness
5) Start a CHAIN REACTION with friends and family members