ENUMCLAW -- Students at Enumclaw High School are pledging to perform 26 acts of kindness in honor of the 26 victims of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
It isn't surprising since Enumclaw schools have been participating in "Rachel's Challenge," named after Rachel Scott, who was killed in the 1999 Columbine High shootings. The program teaches compassion and kindness to combat bullying and social isolation.
The pledges were made during a student-inspired assembly today where 26 seniors read the names of the Sandy Hook victims, students sang, and the choir performed. The art class created a banner with 26 handprints which will be sent to Sandy Hook.
Her voice choked with emotion, principal Jill Burnes said she is proud of the students' initiative and said her biggest goal is to create a school where every student and staff member feels accepted and respected, a place where students can learn without fear.
Basketball player and co-organizer Perry Rockwood told the assembly it might be difficult to reach out to someone you don't know, but it's worth the effort. "You don't know what's happening in a person's life," he said. "So, we spend six hours here (at school) a day. Why not make that six hours when they can get away from their problems?"
Co-organizer Hannah Olney said the school hopes to sell "Never Forget" bracelets to raise $2000 for Sandy Hook School.