Parkersburg High School to hold community meeting tonight

Rachel’s Challenge anti-bullying effort to begin today

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg High School will hold a community meeting tonight to talk about a new anti-bullying program.

Today PHS will begin Rachel’s Challenge, a national program designed to address topics such as bullying, suicide and school violence. The program is named for Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed in the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

“The idea is you are accepting Rachel’s challenge to be a better person,” said PHS Principal Kenny DeMoss. “Before her death, Rachel had told her parents she wanted to impact lives. They’ve taken that awful day and her death and used them to inspire students to be better.”

The school will hold an open event from 6-7 p.m. today in the PHS Auditorium to introduce the program and Rachel’s story to the community.

“It’s all about her story and how it can impact your life,” said DeMoss. “We’re very excited to have this program at PHS and I think it will help the culture at PHS.”

The school also will hold two informational sessions this morning for students, and in the afternoon will hold a training for about 100 students who will act as peer models for the school.

DeMoss said part of Rachel’s Challenge is providing more opportunities for students to participate in activities and clubs, and the newly formed Heroes Club will help develop the school culture.

Rachel’s Challenge also provides tools for teachers, counselors and administrators.

“They provide a curriculum on how to talk about the hard topics,” DeMoss said.

DeMoss said he hopes to have guest speakers come in throughout the year and is encouraging the PHS Heroes Club to spread Rachel’s Challenge throughout the school.

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Rachel’s Challenge at PHS

* What: Community meeting

* When: 6-7 p.m. today

* Where: Parkersburg High School Auditorium

* The community event will introduce the anti-bullying program Rachel’s Challenge to the community and how it will be used at PHS. The event is open to everyone, though officials recommend students who attend to be at least 7th-grade or higher due to the topics being discussed.

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