BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - A group of Broken Arrow sixth graders were empowered Tuesday to be a positive influence in their school.
"They came in a little squirrely, but once we began telling them the story, it grabs their attention pretty quickly," said Todd Lauderdale.
Lauderdale travels around the country with Rachel's Challenge, a story inspired by the life of Rachel Joy Scott, one of the thirteen victims of the Columbine school shooting April 20, 1999.
On Tuesday, he brought that message to more than 1,000 sixth graders in Broken Arrow.
"I want to share with you all five challenges from the life and the writings of Rachel Scott," said Lauderdale during the assembly. "She challenges you and me to start what she called a chain reaction of kindness and compassion."
"By showing someone a bit of kindness or compassion, they may feel compelled to do the same for somebody else," said Lauderdale.
"I felt so sad that that would ever happen," said Kate Garner.
Lauderdale said Rachel was a girl just trying to make a difference.
"I would count her as one of the heroes," said Peyton Bell.
After hearing Rachel's story, the group of students in attendance envisioned a change in themselves and their school.
"I thought it really could change a lot of the actions students make here," said Bell.
Every school Rachel's Challenge visits is given a banner to hang in their halls, encouraging everyone who signs it to start their own chain reaction of kindness.
"I'm certainly not going to judge people by the first impressions anymore," said Garner. "And I am going to start helping people whenever I see someone who needs help."
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