HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- It’s safe to say students at Lake Norman Charter High School don’t really remember the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 because they were babies. But they do remember a school shooting that happened just a few weeks ago at Chardon High School in Ohio and for many of them, it was a wake-up call.
“It’s so hard for me to realize that people feel the need to go out and hurt other people because they’re hurting inside,” said Kate Hickert, a student at Lake Norman.
Students at the school have been following the message of Rachel’s Challenge since the start of the school year and some of them even decided to join the “Friends of Rachel” club.
Rachel Scott was the first victim of the Columbine shooting.
And while the students at Lake Norman heard her story and heard how she died, they also heard about how she lived, by spreading kindness and compassion.
And now in the wake of another deadly school shooting, students feel it’s even more important to spread Rachel’s message.
"I feel like Rachel's club helps prevent that because we help people feel better about themselves and we help them see that there's kindness in everyone,” said Hickert.
And that’s part of the reason she joined the club.
“In the fifth and sixth grade, I was picked on for looking different. I was very tall, heavier than the other girls and a lot of people called me names and picked on me because of that,” Hickert added.
“And one girl, without knowing anything that was wrong, she walked up to me one day and she told me I was so beautiful and one of the most beautiful people she'd ever seen and I just feel like everyone should have that type of person. I would like to help people be that person."
Students at Lake Norman even got a letter from Rachel’s sister, Dana, encouraging them to reach out to the students at Chardon High.
"We have this big card that the whole school is going to sign and we're asking all the homeroom teachers to get their kids to write letters,” said Hickert.
“It's sort of like a big box of love and compassion going to Ohio."