Opinion

Columbine victim's bully lesson | Firearms Lawyer

I started to think about survival of the fittest in connection with an anti-bullying event earlier this month at Meredith Hill Elementary School in Federal Way.

Rachel’s Challenge is a project named after Rachel Scott, a student slaughtered during the carnage at Columbine High School in 1999. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students.

But why is the nationwide campaign against bullying and school violence named after her?

School authorities point to the fact that Rachel wrote an essay called “My Code of Ethics,” which imagined what could happen if we were to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

“I have this theory,” she stated in her essay. “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.”

Rachel wrote the essay not long before being shot in the head, chest, arm and leg while she was eating lunch in her school cafeteria. After she was shot in the leg, one of the two gunmen — students that Rachel probably saw every day at school — picked her up by her hair and asked Rachel if she still believed in God.

“You know I do!” Rachel answered right before the gunman shot her a second time, directly in the head. Rachel was open about her faith, and apparently, everyone knew Rachel was a Christian. Her killers had previously made videotapes in which they mocked her for her beliefs.

Isn’t that what happened during the time of imperial Rome? Christians were given an opportunity to recant their faith before being torn apart by wild animals. We are much different in modern times, however.

American schools are places where everyone respects each other and diverse beliefs are tolerated. That is why we should make sure that Rachel’s voice is heard.

Yes, Klebold and Harris might have been the victims of bullying, but Rachel isn’t remembered just because she stood up against bullying. Or because she advocated being kind and tolerant.

Most of us will say that we believe in kindness and tolerance even if we actually harbor ill will and intolerance. I ask myself what I will do if someone points a gun at my head and asks me, “Do you still believe in God?”

It takes courage to stand up for something when there is a price to pay. The same way that Martin Luther King stood up for what he believed. Rachel and Rev. King believed in the same things and they paid the price. That is why the nation observes Rachel’s Challenge and Martin Luther King Day.

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