Students at Crescenta Valley High and Rosemont Middle schools learned about Rachel this week when they attended the school assemblies “Rachel’s Challenge.” Reporter Mary O’Keefe attended all of the assemblies — five in total — to bring our readers an in-depth look at how important this young woman thought it was for people to invest in compassion, kindness and empathy for their fellow man.
The assemblies were hosted by Rachel’s younger brother, Craig, who was a sophomore at the high school at the time of the shootings. He was on campus, in the library, and ended up watching as two of his friends were murdered in front of his eyes.
In addition to the school day assemblies this week, parents were invited to attend an evening event Tuesday night at CV’s MacDonald Auditorium.
When I told our senior son that my husband and I planned on going, he surprised me by saying that he’d like to go too even though he had already attended an assembly earlier.
The auditorium was packed. It was estimated that over 1,000 people — parents and kids — were there. As we look? ed for seats, a young man offered his, saying, “It’s OK; I’ve already seen it four times.”
Craig Scott’s presentation was emotionally charged. He walked the audience through his relationship with his sister and talked about the events that took place on April 20, 1999. Video footage was shown on a big screen behind him of the students running from the library and other school buildings. He told of how a friend of his pointed out a victim lying on the lawn off in the distance. At the time he didn’t know it was his sister.
According to her writings, Rachel seemed to know that she would not live a long life, but that didn’t seem to faze her. Her faith sustained her, but she was driven to reach out to those ignored, bullied or hurt.