Mountain Pointe High School will host Rachel’s Challenge today to try and spread awareness on bullying and to make the Pride community feel more compassionate among one other.

The event will take place during school hours today, and they will also host a community event at 6 p.m. tonight for families interested in seeing what Rachel’s Challenge is all about.

The program is designed to assist students with different strategies on how to combat bullying; along with deteriorating the feelings of being alienated among fellow peers to create a culture of compassion.

Rachel’s Challenge was created in the memory Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting that took place in Colorado in 1999.

During the school day today each student who attends MP will be sent to the auditorium to hear speakers discuss ways to combat bullying and participate in interactive activities.

Since the school houses more than 2,700 students, faculty members decided to have two assemblies for Rachel’s Challenge to better facilitate the large number of students.

After the program facilitators will be offering their Friends of Rachel program to the students of MP, where 100 volunteers will aim to move forward with the message against bullying throughout the remainder of the year.

Assistant Principal Sarah Tolar said the idea for the school to host Rachel’s Challenge was brought up by Principal Bruce Kipper.

Kipper observed the program while it was brought to a Kyrene Middle School and felt it would be beneficial to have at the high school, Tolar said.

She added the purpose for the program is to equip students with different strategies to combat bullying, alienation, and build compassion in the school.

“There are a lot of anti-bullying campaigns out there, yet this one is different because not only does it talk about the consequences of that type of behavior, but gives the kids strategies to deal with it and make better choices,” Tolar said. “That’s what we are looking for with our kids... to empower them to make good decisions and change their behaviors.”

Tolar said there’s no bullying problem at the school, but felt the topic is such a positive message that can be given to their students.

“I think we feel that our students get caught up with their daily lives and their drama with each other, and this is just a positive way to help them remember they have control over their actions.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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