Students at Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School will be presented a powerful assembly next week that will deal with the aftermath of violence on a campus and how they can make a positive change simply by the way they view others at their school and in their community.
Rachel’s Challenge is coming to the middle and high school as part of an educational tool that focuses on improving school safety.
“We will have two assemblies here [at Rosemont],” said Deputy Steve Toley, the school resource officer. “Then CVHS will have their assemblies and another for parents at night that ties everything together.”
The assembly at Rosemont for students will be on March 23 and CVHS is scheduled during the day on March 24. That night, at 7 p.m., another assembly for parents and community members will be held in the MacDonald Auditorium at the high school.
Rachel Scott was the first student that was killed at Columbine High School in 1999 when two armed students entered the facility and began shooting.
By the time the violence ended, 12 students, one teacher and both shooters were dead. The assembly is a personal look at what toll violence takes on a family, a school and the world. But it also shows how hope can be born from such a tragedy through the writings of Rachel and her positive outlook on life.
“The whole thing is to push for a better quality of school [experience] for all,” Toley said.
He had attended the assembly at other schools in the past and said that it was a powerful message that should resonate with kids and adults.
“And this is going to be even more powerful,” he said. “Rachel’s brother is going to be one of the presenters at the assembly.”
He was at the school at the time of the shooting and heard the first shot, but he didn’t realize until later that that shot is the one that killed his sister.
Toley added that the assembly explains how, through positive change, schools can be better, and how not only schools, but the whole community benefits.
“The one thing to remember is that when Columbine happened these kids [in middle school] were 4 years old. When adults say, ‘Columbine,’ we know exactly what that means, but kids really have no idea,” he said.
He added that violence has become more and more prevalent in society, so much so that many times kids are desensitized through television, video games and the world in general.
This assembly brings a personal message to a public act and gives hope to those who want to change the world for the better.