Youth Safety Summit Urges Compassion To Combat School Violence - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Youth Safety Summit Urges Compassion To Combat School Violence

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Youth Safety Summit was held at McGavock High School Saturday. The event was aimed at giving students the tools they need to deal with a culture of violence in schools.

Metro students were urged to take Rachel's Challenge. It's a pledge to treat others with compassion and kindness as a way to combat school violence. It honors Rachel Scott, a student killed in the Columbine High School shooting.

"I want to share a story with you about a teenager who some would say didn't get to do anything big in her life," Rachel's brother Craig Scott told the crowd.

Many students in McGavock High School's auditorium were too young to remember Rachel Scott.

"She seemed like she would be a nice person to be friends with or associate with," Overton High School Freshman Aliyah Washington said.

Scott was a 17-year-old Columbine High School student, the first target for the shooters on that tragic day nearly 14 years ago. In her death, Rachel's Challenge emerged. Craig Scott, a Columbine survivor who also witnessed his friends being killed in the school shooting, now shares his sister's message across the country. Rachel's Challenge says the most important weapon to combat against school violence is compassion.

"It doesn't matter what school you go to, rural or urban, there's always bullying, drugs fights and such," Sycamore Middle School student Braden Brown said.

From Columbine to Sandy Hook nearly four months ago, the topic of school safety has been a growing concern.

"The school I go to, you see fights sometimes so you think about it. I think about it a lot," Hillsboro High School Senior Imani Hawkins said.

"You know we hear about so many incidences going on in our district and in the country," parent and Metro Schools social worker Yasmin Johnson said. "So it's a huge topic and concern."

That's why Metro schools organized the Youth Safety Summit to empower students and parents.

"I just wanted to learn some more skills and tools to help them learn to be compassionate and kind," Johnson said about why she attended the conference.

It's a simple lessons learned from a 17 year old, that's now being shared with a brand new generation.

"If you know how to talk to a person and …you talk to them," Brown said, "Actually feel how they feel and such and be nice to them on a regular basis, say hey to them everyday you can help change their attitude."

Click here for more information on Rachel's Challenge.

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