In the wake of another school shooting, a father whose daughter was killed in 1999 in the tragic Columbine High School shooting spoke with President Trump. Darrell Scott shared his thoughts on what he has learned from working with young people as part of the anti-bullying program, Rachel’s Challenge, that he and his family started.
Scott told the president that, through their work with Rachel’s Challenge, they have learned how to create “connectedness” among people. He went on to explain that the common thread with each of the school shootings in this country is that the young men who committed these heinous crimes were all disconnected. He said:
…the focus must not be on just unity or diversity. Because if you focus too much on diversity, you create division. If you focus too much on unity, you'll create compromise. But if you focus on relatedness, and how we can relate with one another, then you can celebrate the diversity, and you can see the unity take place. I'm all for diversity. I'm all for unity. But the focus really needs to be on how we can connect.”
Since the tragedy at Columbine, Scott and his family have devoted themselves to bringing people together. Through teaching and counseling others, the family continues to honor Rachel Scott’s memory and ensures that her death was not in vain. Her story has also touched the world through the movie about her life called “I’m Not Ashamed.”
“I’m Not Ashamed”
Rachel Joy Scott lost her life in the Columbine High School tragedy. Although Rachel is gone, her memory is very much alive through the inspiring words she wrote in her journal. Her parents have shared her words through the film about her life:
“I’m Not Ashamed” follows Rachel, a normal high school girl who loved God. Like many her age, she experienced the angst of teenage life that put her at odds with her faith. However, ultimately, she was devoted to God and making a difference in the world. She documented her thoughts, feelings and letters to God in a journal, which was found after her death. This passage portrays a real-life look into her beautiful mind:
I promise that I will not drink this Friday when I go out with Stefanie. This is so tempting. I want to go so bad. Well, I thought about it (as you know) and I thought that since you would forgive me anyways I may as well do it. Then I realized that you will always, always forgive, but you may not let it go unpunished. Then I decided not to do it strictly out of fear. Then I thought about it more, and thought that if I did it out of fear it would not be done because I loved you, I obeyed you, and I followed you. That is my reason for not going now and I know that I will always be faced with temptation, but because I love you, I obey you, and I follow you, I will not fall into the core of it. Thank You, Father. Your child, Rachel”
This inspiring true story helps remind us all that, by surrendering ourselves to God’s love, each one of us can make a difference to the world.
Learn and Grow
When faced with tragedy we can turn away from it and hide or we can choose to embrace it and learn. We can learn a lot from Rachel and how she chose to live her life. Many of her struggles are familiar to adults as well as teens.
- Embrace and understand the power of prayer, particularly when it’s challenging.
- Learn how God can help us overcome when we rebel
- Know that influence and identity are closely related
- Understand why it’s easier to face persecution when we have a view of eternity
Download your copy of the "I'm Not Ashamed" discussion guide and use it to make a difference.