Pitt Co. schools tackle bullying with Rachel’s Challenge

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A number of Pitt County Schools are currently implementing a program called Rachel’s Challenge to encourage positive behavior and reduce bullying.

Rachel’s Challenge was named after Rachel Scott, who became the first victim in the Columbine High School shooting. Scott’s journal was later discovered by her family. In it, she wrote about her hopes to start a chain reaction by doing small acts of kindness.

Since beginning, Rachel’s Challenge has reached more than 20 million people across the country.

On Monday, hundreds of D.H. Conley students attended an assembly to learn more about the program. Torski Dobson-Arnold presented it to them. She started with Rachel’s Challenge 5 years ago after being impacted by it herself.

“I immediately was emotionally connected and really just wanted, in that instance, to be a part of mending relationships and helping mothers and daughters come back together, and fathers and sons,” Dobson-Arnold said.

The presentation hit home for students like Madeline Hawkins, who said she has had to deal with bullies since second grade.

“I went to a therapist, I did everything,” Hawkins said. “I was putting myself down. I was depressed. It was just terrible.”

Hawkins said following the presentation, she wanted to make a positive change in the community.

“I’m just going to go help inspire people to be themselves,” she said.

It was a feeling DH Conley freshman Sophie Mallinson also had.

“I think it’s small things,” Mallinson said. “Trying to be less bitter or talking about someone.”

At the end of the assembly, many students became emotional when asked to think about people important in their life. Dobson-Arnold said it is moments like this that make her job worth it.

“I know with those tears somebody is going to hear I love you, and they haven’t heard it in months. Somebody is going to get a hug at home, and they had a terrible argument the night before,” she said.

There will be a community assembly for Rachel’s Challenge in the D.H. Conley auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Other Pitt County Schools have had, or will be receiving, presentations on Rachel’s Challenge.

For more information about Rachel’s Challenge, click here.

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