Wyoming schools take Rachel’s Challenge: National anti-bullying program comes to state

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A national anti-bullying program founded in memory of one of the victims of the Columbine High School shooting was brought to a Cheyenne high school on Tuesday.

Rachel’s Challenge, created in honor of 17-year-old Rachel Scott, is based on the “Code of Ethics” she wrote a month before her death in the Columbine shooting of 1999.

Since 2001, Rachel’s family has offered the program to thousands of schools in 14 countries reaching 25 million people. The “challenge” has to do with following five points listed by Scott in her code of ethics: Look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindred spirits and start your own chain reaction.

Nate Rees, regional manager for Rachel’s Challenge, said the goal is to get students to agree to pursue the “calls to action.”

“We believe that if you can get to the student’s heart, that they’ll give you their head and they’ll give you their hands,” he said. “But it starts at the heart of the matter and that’s one of the things that Rachel’s story is able to do almost 20 years later.”

Jessica Gerwig, a Cheyenne East High School teacher involved in bringing the program to the school, said she was impressed with the ideas forwarded by Rachel’s Challenge.

“I think that the idea of spreading kindness and positivity is just so important,” she said.

The program is to be offered at high schools in Lyman and Mountain View next week.

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