(Rachel's Challenge program presenter Chris Mowery, South Park Middle School vice principal Lynn Como and me at the school in late February.)
When her name popped up in my inbox, it didn't seem familiar to me. But there was something about it that made me click "open."
I've never met Lynn Como and I've never been to South Park Middle School. Lynn's email explained that she is the school's assistant principal. An educator. A mother of six. A woman passionate about children and the messages we teach them.
So when her student council voted to bring in a presenter from a national organization called Rachel's Challenge, Lynn asked me if I wanted to watch their school-wide assembly. I jumped at the chance.
In the extraordinary hour-long talk I witnessed, a few hundred fifth and sixth graders learned about Rachel Joy Scott, the first person shot and killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Rachel was only 17 years old when she died, just a few years older than they. That kind of finality has a way of speaking to a child, even one who wasn't even born when the worst-ever school massacre to date caused our country to reel in horror.
I want to share with you video of what I experienced alongside those students at South Park Middle School. We sat in the darkness in the school gymnasium (hence the grainy video) and were awed by a single young woman's example. I hope that seeing it will, in just the slightest way, encourage you to start what Rachel believed could change the world: A chain reaction of kindness.