School’s ‘Rachel’s Challenge Club’ hosts anti-bullying walk
By Wally Robinson - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Sun., Apr. 24, 2011
Rachel Scott was the first victim in the shooting rampage 12 years ago at Columbine High School in Colorado. In her name, a now worldwide organization formed with the mission: “To create a safe learning environment for all students by re-establishing civility and delivering proactive antidotes to school violence and bullying.”
Members of the Rachel’s Challenge Club of Manchester High School took to the downtown streets April 19 to distribute their message of kindness and tolerance. The students were joined by members of the PTA and faculty on the walk, carrying signs and placards and wearing caps and t-shirts proclaiming, “Bullying Stinks,” “Love Yourself, Love Others,” “Dare to Dream” and the like. It was a lively and enthusiastic group that was greeted along the way with waves, smiles and honking car horns.
One of the leaders of the group was freshman Michelle Hegenauer, herself a target of bullying in grammar school. “I got interested in the movement after a spokesman for another group, Bully Busters, came to our school,” she said. “I had taken up martial arts so I could protect myself, but my instructor made clear that using those skills should be a last resort. He really pushed me to get involved.”
Nobody wanted to talk about the fights that occurred at Manchester High School in December. “We’d rather put the emphasis on the positive,” said Outreach Social Worker Heidi Macchi. “The Rachel’s Challenge slogan, ‘You just may start a chain reaction of goodwill and tolerance’ really says it all.”