Bullying and suicide are topics that are always talked about on television and online. However, both of these subjects have impacted students and staff at Tippecanoe Valley High School greatly. In the 2012-2013 school year, the school corporation grieved the loss of three students and two faculty members. However, juniors Michael Thacker and Deontee Smith are working to bring a program called Rachel’s Challenge to the community.
According to www.rachelschallenge.org, the program “equips students and adults to create and sustain safe, caring and supportive learning environments essential for academic achievement.” Rachel’s Challenge is “based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.” The website also states that in the last three years, Rachel’s Challenge has received five hundred emails from students who, after hearing Rachel’s story, reached out for help because they were considering suicide. Thacker and Smith believe that the program would be effective in preventing both bullying and suicide.
In order to bring the program to Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, both Thacker and Smith have been working to raise money. Rachel’s Challenge costs approximately $5,000, but this goal is very close to being reached.