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The Power of Choice – Virginia Tech
September 08, 11:57 am
Filed under: Quote ~ Stories

On April 20, 1999, Craig Scott was in the library of Columbine High School when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down his fellow students right before his eyes. His sister, Rachel, was one of the first to die in that shooting.Today, Craig travels across the country and speaks to thousands of teens every month about the importance of fostering “an atmosphere of kindness and compassion” in classrooms to stop school violence.

Craig urges Virginia Tech and the media covering the story to avoid focusing on the negative. “It’s really easy to look back and see that … the warning signs, and you can study all the things that the shooter left behind and you can try to say, ‘Why didn’t we see this coming?'” Craig says. “The big concern that I have is the attention and focus that’s put on the shooter. [Reports say], ‘It’s the most bloody, the biggest, the record…’ and records can be broken. And I have found students that actually idolize the two shooters at Columbine.”

Instead, Craig urges everyone to focus on the positive. “Where you choose to focus immediately is very important. What you’re going to choose to spend your time thinking about,” he says. “We’ve focused on my sister, Rachel, who’s so compassionate and kind. And from that, that’s the opposite of that anger and hatred.”

The power of choice

 

 

Darrell Scott, Craig and Rachel’s father, says everyone has the power to make the choice of where to focus their attention in times of crisis. For example, he says, “Craig made a choice to make a difference.”Together, Darrell and Craig run Rachel’s Challenge, a group dedicated to stopping school violence. “We lead challenges from dealing with prejudice to reaching out to that lone kid in the cafeteria and reporting when there is something out of the ordinary,” Darrell says. “And we’ve seen incredible lives touched and changed.”

When there are kids who are alone and angry, Craig says it’s important to combat the negativity with love. “It’s going to take … a heart connection to bring him back to human touch. And that’s what we try to do and try to bring a real story in,” Craig says. “And I hope that with the families in Virginia Tech that they … have 33 wonderful stories of beautiful people and beautiful memories and stories to hold onto.”