Death of daughter in Columbine shooting drives father’s mission

Digital Originals

Rachel Joy Scott
Rachel Joy Scott PHOTO/

Friday, April 20 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. On April 20, 1999 in Littleton, Colorado, two teenaged gunmen shot and killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives.

17-year-old Rachel Scott was the first person struck that morning. Her father Darrell has made school violence prevention his mission ever since.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybrandy sat down with him recently to talk about the goals of Rachel’s Challenge.   


Rachel’s Challenge programs provide a sustainable, evidence-based framework for positive climate and culture in our schools. Fully implemented, partner schools achieve statistically significant gains in community engagement, faculty/student relationships, leadership potential, and school climate; along with reductions in bullying, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

Every year:

Over 1.5 million people are involved in Rachel’s Challenge programs.
More than 1,200 schools and businesses are reached.
Over 150 suicides are averted.
Bullying and violence decrease.
Community service and acts of kindness increase.

Today, Rachel’s Challenge exists to inspire and equip every person to create a permanent positive change not only in themselves, but in their schools, their businesses and communities. We have a comprehensive set of age-appropriate programs for K-12, college and business. The objectives of these programs are all the same; to continue Rachel’s legacy of kindness and compassion and to:

Help schools and businesses become safer, more connected places to live and learn.
Stimulate real culture change by actively involving the entire community in the process.
Change lives by providing culturally relevant social/emotional training.
Increase achievement and ensure results by engaging the participants’ heart, head and hands in a continuing improvement process.