No bullies

The Oakville School District launched “Rachel’s Challenge” on Sept. 18 for all grades and for the community. Our elementary, middle and high school students joined the challenge to combat bullying in our school and community. In the evening, the program was offered to parents and community members.

Rachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and ally feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote, “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.”

Rachel’s Challenge was started by Rachel’s dad and stepmom, Darrell and Sandy Scott, when they realized that the writings and drawings Rachel left not only had an impact on her friends and classmates but also resonated around the world. More than 18 million people have been touched by her message.

The Rachel’s Challenge philosophy of education is based on a historically sound principle of the “three H’s,” the heart, the head and the hands. It is believed that the doorway to improving education is a student’s heart. If the teacher captures a students heart (emotion, passion and imagination), the student will give you their hands to meaningful work and service.

Students at Oakville have joined this challenge. They have engaged in topics such as: words have the power to hurt or heal, it’s OK to take off your mask and be who you really are, appropriate hugs do help, you are not alone because we have shared experiences and today is your chain reaction moment.

I am very proud of the students who attend Oakville elementary, middle and high school.

Kathy Lorton