Anti-bully event honors ethics of Columbine victim

Meredith Hill Elementary School will host an anti-bullying event on Jan. 5, with an assembly being held for the students during the day, and a parents meeting at 6:15 p.m.

The anti-bullying event is part of Rachel’s Challenge, a project in honor of Rachel Scott, one of the students killed at Columbine High School in 1999. The aim of Rachel’s Challenge is to promote random acts of kindness, something that fits in with existing practices at Meredith Hill, said Anna Griebel, instructional coach and principal intern at the elementary.

“First, I wanted you to understand that we have in place (at Meredith Hill) a positive behavior system,” Griebel said during the Federal Way Public Schools board meeting on Dec. 13.

“That means we focus our attention on the behaviors we expect to see, and why, rather than the ones we don’t want to see. So, for example, ‘Don’t run, it’s dangerous’ (is flipped) to the positive, and we say, ‘Walk, because it’s safe.’”

Taking that system of flipping the script, Griebel said Meredith Hill will apply that to Rachel’s Challenge by not saying “Don’t bully,” but rather saying “Promote random acts of kindness.”

Griebel shared the words of Scott herself during the Dec. 13 board meeting, briefly quoting an essay Scott had written shortly before her life ended.

“Shortly before this tragedy, she wrote an essay called ‘My Code of Ethics,’ in which she challenged everyone to imagine what could happen if we were to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Her words are: ‘I have this theory, if one person could go out of their way to start compassion, it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.’”


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