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Rachel’s Challenges and It Benefits to the Youth. Columbine School Shooting Essay

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Updated: Nov 3rd, 2021

Introduction

The incident which occurred on Tuesday 20th April 1999 has been simply referred to as the Columbine High School Massacre. At the center of the killing were two students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. The two went on a killing spree; killing twelve students and a teacher and injuring twenty-four others before turning the gun on themselves and committing suicide. The incident was ranked fourth-deadliest in the history of United States after the Bath school case in 1927, Virginia Technical College disaster of 2007 and the University of Texas, 1966 Massacre (Cullen, p.214). The incident elicited a heated debate on the law on gun control and gun violence, among the youth. Also included in the debates were the high school cultures and subcultures, cliques as well as bullying; the role played by violent movies available to everyone in the movie stores were also discussed. This essay paper will look at the case of the Columbine Massacre and draw emphasis on Rachel’s challenges, a program that was established to address the above-highlighted problems impacting the youth regarding the overall security of schools, morals, gun culture, teenage internet use and effects of violent games and movies.

The Killings

According to a witness statement, the first victims of the gun-wielding duo were Rachel Scott and Richard Castaldo, who they found taking lunch on a grassy loan at the Western Entrance. Rachel died on the spot while Castaldo was critically injured. Some reports hold that the rampage targeted Christians, and that the gunmen first asked Rachel if she believed in God, and when she replied affirmatively, the shooting began…she received four deadly shots at a point-blank range and her friend got eight. A lot has been said about the experiences of Rachel Scott, but none could be satisfying were she around to give her own account of the real ordeal.

The best next character though to fill her shoes was therefore her father, Darrel Scott. Darrel gave a powerful speech, which was deeply personal and quite penetrating worth being listened to by parents, sociologists, psychologists, educational experts and all professionals at every level. The challenges faced by Rachel during her life were just a manifestation of the existence of evil and good forces in the society, and while the good can not be differentiated or rather be appreciated in the absence of bad, it should be eliminated by any means possible. The resultant of what happed was more of a spiritual force, something which Rachel alone could not counter, but called for the intervention of the whole society to address (Brown and Rob, p.3).

Rachel’s Experiences

Rachel’s kindness and compassion could never be marched, through an organization started by her parents–Rachel’s Challenge, individuals have learned to make the best out of their lives and create a positive environment for themselves. By bringing back the memories of Rachel to the scene, it helps teens as well as parents to realize the benefit drawn from returning good for evil and how important is to treat others the way one wants to be treated. Such will help the school administration in addressing bullying and oppressive related incidences that were blamed on the Columbine Massacre. Some Americans upon hearing of the massacre rushed to a quick conclusion that the “Trench Coat Mafia Outcasts” were on a revenge mission against the bullying and the unbearable treatments that the school administration had on them. They therefore resorted to such a horrific violence to send a strong message to the society which they believed was wholly against them (Brown and Rob, p.4).

The challenges that Rachel had to endure are made public so that the number of people who will be moved to a point of striving to live in a society of peace and stability would increase. If told in the right context, tone and by a person who really understands the predicament, Rachel’s challenges are bound to have a profound effect on students and inspire them to spread the dream that Rachel held all her life; that was to ” create a chain reaction of kindness” (Cullen, p.222). The experiences and challenges Rachel are the best place for this course. It has helped students dispel any fear that they have and overcome shyness as well as pride. Self-confidence has been made a priority and above all, the students will come to realize their needs and worth in the society. Even the society takes pride in the youth, the youths therefore will strive to make a difference and by so doing, Rachel’s Challenge will be averting any incident like the Columbine Tragedy. The publication is a practical proof that all was not lost by slaying the good-hearted Rachel, but all the remaining students, including the survivors, the teachers and parents can carry the message of good hope to greater heights. It doesn’t need a saint or a perfect being; only a kind heart is required for one to be good.

It is a great value to always have a positive influence on the people that surround you; and never take anyone for granted. The Rachel’s Challenge, which is composed of five Columbine students is making its rounds around America’s middle and high schools talking to an audience of students, teachers and parents on how to forge a way forward against all odds. Even though life may deal you a blow, it is better to pick up your pieces and start all over again. When such goodwill messages are spread to pupils from a lower educational level, there is no doubt that such acts of violence will never be witnessed again. The streamlining of students should never be left to teachers alone; but parents, community leaders and law enforcers need to put together their might and help in shaping the youth. The problem however presents itself when the whole responsibility is left to the school administration. The youths get exposed to a lot of stuff that contributes to violent behavior. The violent packed video games, movies and sex explicit magazines are attributed to the latest character development in the teens. The tragedy could not be solely blamed on gun control, but on the latest rot in the society; thus putting all stakeholders on the spot and not only the parents, police or the teachers (Brown and Rob, p.4).

Rachel’s Challenge

The memories of Rachel for over ten years now are being used to inspire students the nation over to realize the best character in them, thanks to the Rachel Challenges foundation. On the day of her death, Rachel was carrying a notebook in which she had written “I won’t be labeled as average” and surely just had she had stated, the foundation has ensured that her short-lived life has had positive impacts in the lives on many teens, parents and teachers. Rachel’s Challenge is driven by her family and friends who are geared to make the world a more compassionate place. The organization’s objective is to reach as many schools as possible. For the period that it has been in operation, Rachel’s Challenge has managed to initiate programs that encourage students in middle and high school to recognize their purpose in life and see the best there is in others in the society. The simple writings of Rachel have become a spring of consolation to many. The organization has sparked hope and encouragement and made a difference in the lives of many individuals; young and adults alike.

Benefits of Rachel’s Challenge

The foundation has made the entire American society look positively at the tragic event…so it is true that something this good can come out of such an evil act. It ha has been received positively world over. The K-12 is even making a proposal to have it accessible in colleges to spread the great kindness and compassion there. Tragedy does exist everywhere and it is never known when it would finally strike, Rachel’s smiling picture and soothing words have managed to help people understand senseless tragedy that befalls them. To Darrel, Rachel was a daughter who had time for everyone and friends to all; very soul was important to her. Much about her and her programs are presented on her website which also features more news that brings hope to the downtrodden. The movement has so far touched the lives of millions of people and presented Rachel’s real philosophy, just the way she could have done it were she alive. She was denied life beyond teenage, but her legacy and dream continue to live despite the odds. To show how much she loved to help people, the Scott family made public a discovery in Rachel’s dresser drawer her drawing (trace hand) and writings “these are Rachel’s hands, someday; they will touch millions of hearts”. She surely did, but not with her hands, but her good heart (Cullen, p.219).

Conclusion

All said and done, the facts represented in this essay paper holds it that, it is the responsibility of all the members of the society; parents, leaders, adults, teachers, police and the youths themselves to ensure that any evil act is routed out, or rather made public before it develops into a monster. There should be collective responsibility and the community should ever try to support one another rather than commit felonies against one another. But until then, peace will still be a far off dream and the younger generation would never live to appreciate one another. The challenges and the life that Rachel lived should be like an inspiration to every living soul, which needs to lift the spirits of the faint-hearted and give hope to the hopeless. Limitations and restrictions should be put on what the youth get their hands on; be it the video games, movies, internet, guns and anything that might prove dangerous to the developing minds, lest they get corrupted. Repots in (www.acolumbinesite.com/ericpage.html) revealed that it is through the internet that Harris and Klebold got the recipe for making explosives. But despite all these, Rachel’s dream of having a society that serves the public interest will surely come to pass, thanks to the publication of her challenges.

Such kinds of tragedy related to the Columbine clearly show that there is need to capture the life of every individual before they are finally punctuated by death, we should make the best of whatever we have in life. In a nutshell, Rachel’s Challenges have reinforced positive behavior in many social systems.

Work Cited

Brown Brooks and Rob Merritt. No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine. New York, NY: Lantern Books. (2002). pp. 3–4.

Cullen, Dave. Columbine. Grand Central Publishing. (2009). pp. 214-226.

Harris, Eric. 2009.

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