KREMMLING, Colo. (CBS4) – More and more high school are tackling the tough subject of protecting students from violence in schools, and at a school in Grand County on Wednesday FBI officials joined with the uncle of a Columbine victim to help address the issue.
West Grand High School in Kremmling was packed with many parents Wednesday night who came to a meeting wanting to learn how better to protect their children. The program they were handed before they sat down said simply “Let’s Talk About Extreme School Violence.”
“School districts are coming together and communities are coming together to put plans in place and make sure that kids are safe,” West Grand School District Superintendent Terry Vanderpan told CBS4.
During the meeting school officials talked about what safety measures they are taking and FBI experts listed statistics when it comes to school violence. That including the fact that there’s slightly more than a one in 2 million chance that a student will be exposed to extreme violence.
Taking a different approach to the same problem was Larry Scott, uncle of Rachel Scott, the 17-year-old who was the first of the 13 people who were killed in the Columbine High School massacre. He told those at the meeting that school safety can be impacted not just by security, but by students themselves.
Scott is a presenter for a nonprofit organization in Littleton called Rachel’s Challenge. His method challenges parents and students to eliminate prejudice, look at the best in others and choose positive influences.
“We’ve got to have our hearts changed, and if we don’t get to the heart of a human being and begin to change that, then we’re not going to see anything change,” Scott said.
Scott now travels across the country sharing his neice’s story, which includes sharing the diaries Rachel left behind after the shooting 14 years ago and discussing the impact she has had on others.
“She said ‘I have this theory that if people go out of their way to show compassion, it will start a chain reaction of the same, and people will never know how far a little kindness can go,’ ” Scott told CBS4.
Scott says kind words can turn a troubled student into a caring person.
“Sometimes it is hard to talk about it, but it brings it home for me because I lived it,” said Scott, whose two children were also at Columbine High School on the day of the shooting.
LINK: Rachel’s Challenge