PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia charter school has added an anti bullying campaign to its curriculum.
Rachel’s Challenge is a way to remember the legacy of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting massacre.
Yolanda Robinson with the organization says more than 70 percent of students report having seen bullying in their school.
On Monday, she took part in an assembly at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School challenging the kids to stand up against bullying.
“Those challenges are things like look for the best in people, because then you won’t want to prejudge them,” Robinson said. “Choose positive influences. Speak with kindness. So that your words are healing words rather than hurtful ones, and then dream big.”
Robinson says more than 160,000 students skip school each day due to their fear of bullying.
“We’re here to simply promote the message of kindness and compassion,” she said, “trying to get schools to transition into cultures of compassion, rather than what they currently are.”
Kaylie Feliciano, a 7th grader at the school says the anti-bullying campaign helped give her the motivation to stand up for those she sees being bullied.
“Take the time to be nice to someone and think before you speak, because you never know what someone is going through, and one word can change how a person feels,” she said. “I think that now, after I heard what Rachel did, I definitely will help out whoever is getting bullied, whether it’s speaking up for them or getting a teacher to help them.
The program does not end with an assembly. Over the next few days, the American Paradigm Schools will host anti-bullying workshops and open its doors for parents to learn about preventing bullying.