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Port Chester Principal Challenges Students to be Compassionate

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Principal Patrick Swift devoted Wednesday to bringing the story of a teenage girl's tragic death and her philosophy of kindness to the students at Port Chester Middle School, challenging them to follow her example.

"If you can be a good person, then everything else sort of falls into place," said Swift.For the second year, Swift invited a speaker to talk about the life and beliefs of Rachel Scott, who was the first victim in the Columbine shootings of 1999 and died at the age of 17.

Scott was survived by her writings and her acts of kindness to others that became the foundation for a program known as " Rachel's Challenge ," which puts forth a set of challenges based on an essay she wrote titled, "My Ethics, My Codes of Life."

"Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer," she had written.From that essay came the challenges to look for the best in others, choosing positive influences and speaking with kindness.

Swift wants the students to take Scott's philosophy and apply it to their own lives. He presented them with a banner pledging to follow Scott's example of treating others with kindness, which many chose to sign.

The program aims to establish a proactive attitude toward eliminating prejudice and promoting compassion in schools. Some students received training to become leaders within the school in promoting this attitude.

"It comes down to one simple thing," said Swift. "For a student to be successful, they have to be happy. I want the school to be an environment where they feel safe and happy."

What do you think about Rachel Scott's Challenge ?

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