Proctor Students Learn to Fight Bullying
Posted at: 09/26/2013 4:51 PM
| Updated at: 09/26/2013 6:12 PM
By: Travis Dill
Proctor students heard the story of a Columbine Shooting victim on Thursday, and many hope it will prevent bullying in their schools.
Rachel Scott was the first victim killed in the Columbine Shooting 14 years ago. Her diary, found after the shooting, holds words of compassion and acceptance for all, and her parents hope that message can impact students across the country. It's all conveyed to students through empowerment programs called Rachel's Challenge.
Students in Proctor's middle and high schools learned her story on Thursday. The 17-year-old's death is emotional for students who listen, but presenter Aaron Kinebrew said it can foster a culture of compassion.
“It's very emotional. It's emotionally draining, it can be, but you know what? If something tragic like this happened and we can get something positive to come out of a tragic story, that speaks for itself,” Kinebrew said.
Seeing the profound words written by a girl their age leaves a real impact on students like senior Holly Stanaway.
“It really kind of brings it to life and makes you think and realize what has actually been going on and how her story has impacted so many people,” Stanaway said.
For senior Jacob Marciniak it reinforced the need for acceptance he discovered after being bullied.
“When I was younger I was teased a lo. I was bullied, and when I see kids getting teased or bullied or sitting by themselves I like to help them out or go sit with them,” Marciniak said.
Rachel's Challenge promotes kind behavior like that, and trains students how to step in if a problem arises. About 100 Proctor students will receive the special training from Kinebrew.
“We give them techniques, we call them conflict management techniques, to basically if they see aggressive behavior how to approach it,” Kinebrew said.
Students feel Rachel's Challenge will improve the culture in Proctor Schools, and Stanaway hopes to leave the hallways a better place for her younger sister.
“If the seniors and the upperclassmen take this seriously and they push this in the school it will make it a better place for everyone coming up,” Stanaway said.
The Proctor students join over 19 million people that have heard Rachel's message, and community members got a chance to hear her story at a presentation Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Proctor Auditorium.