Bath County HS Program Attacks Roots Of Bullying
Warm Springs, VA – At Bath County High School, the Rachel’s Challenge program is in its second year and it’s going strong. Rachel’s Challenge is named for Rachel Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. After her death, her family developed Rachel’s Challenge to accentuate the positive aspects of Rachel’s life and counteract violence and bullying in schools by bringing in kindness and goodness. Stephanie Hiner is a School Counselor at Bath County High School and is the advisor for Rachel’s Challenge.
“One of the thoughts with this program, it was bringing in positive things” says Hiner. “So you’re trying to deflect or counteract negative activities by encouraging positive activities, and it was a very win-win type situation.”
Students involved in Rachel’s Challenge work together on various projects to help people. The students recently collected goods for a family that lost its home in a fire. And they are also working on decorative pillow cases to send to a children’s cancer center in Pennsylvania. Chase Smith is a junior at Bath County High School who participates in Rachel’s Challenge.
“It’s definitely an eye-opener” says Smith. “You got to see what really happened and what the effects are of bullying and other things that happen in schools. I joined it because I love helping out the community, I love helping out friends.”
Students have also written thank you letters to members of the community who don’t normally get thanked for what they do on a regular basis. Letters have gone out to BARC Electric and school employees including bus drivers, janitors and office staff. Working to help and show appreciation to others has helped the students too.
“We’ve mainly seen a lot of people have been nicer, and they show more respect towards the ones that need the respect” says Smith. “When the new students come [to the school], we are right with them, showing them around the classes; we show them how to do everything, we help them with their schedule.”
“This is really their program, the students program” says Hiner. “I’m just trying to orchestrate everything. So whatever they want to do, we try to make it possible.”
Jenna Crummett, a junior at Bath, also participates in Rachel’s Challenge.
“I got involved because I really like helping people out and it gives me a chance to help people out and just spread the word to stop bullying.”
Hiner says she would love to have help from the community with projects as part of Rachel’s Challenge. For more information you can visit the Bath County High School website and click on the Rachel’s Challenge link or contact Stephanie Hiner at the school.