|Rachel Joy Scott|
Rachel Joy Scott in 1997
August 5, 1981|
Denver, Colorado, United States
|Died||April 20, 1999
Columbine, Colorado, United States
|Cause of death||Gunshots by Eric Harris|
|Resting place||Columbine Memorial Gardens at
Chapel Hill Cemetery, Littleton, Colorado, United States
|Known for||Murder victim|
|Parents||Beth Nimmo (b. 1953) and Darrell Scott (b. 1949)|
|Relatives||Dana Scott (b. 1976), sister
Mike Scott (b. 1984), brother
Craig Scott (b. 1983), brother
Bethanee McCandless (b. 1975), sister
Rachel Joy Scott (August 5, 1981 – April 20, 1999) was an American student and the first murder victim of the Columbine High School massacre, which claimed the lives of 12 students and a teacher, as well as both perpetrators.
She has since been the subject of several books and is the inspiration for Rachel's Challenge, a nationwide school outreach program for the prevention of teen violence, based on her life and writings.
Rachel Joy Scott was born on August 5, 1981, in Denver, the third of five children of Darrell Scott (1949 – ) and Beth Nimmo (1953 – ). Her older sisters are Bethanee (1975 – ) and Dana (1976 – ) and her two younger brothers are Craig (1983 – ) and Mike (1984 – ). Her father had formerly pastored a church in Lakewood, Colorado, but resigned from the ministry when the marriage ended in divorce in 1989. The following year, Beth and the children moved to Littleton, Colorado, where she remarried in 1995. Darrell Scott became a sales manager for a food company in the Denver area and had joint custody of the children with their mother. As a child, Rachel attended Governor's Ranch Elementary School, and subsequently Ken Caryl Middle School. Coincidentally, she knew Dylan Klebold since kindergarten, and both remained in the same classes with each other until their deaths. Both were members of Columbine's theater production club.
At the time of her death, the 17-year old Columbine High School junior was an aspiring writer and actress. She had the leading role in a student-written play. Described as a devout Christian by her mother, she was active as a youth group leader at Orchard Road Christian Center Church in Littleton and was known for her friendliness and compassionate nature. Rachel left behind six diaries and several essays about her belief in God and how she wanted to change the world through small acts of kindness. Shortly before her death, Rachel wrote an essay for school stating, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.” Similarities have been noted between the journal Rachel kept and Anne Frank's famous diary.
Rachel was shot while eating lunch with a friend, Richard Castaldo, on the lawn outside of the school's library. She was killed by Eric Harris with multiple gunshot wounds to her head, chest, arm, and leg. After the killings, her car was turned into a flower-shrouded memorial in the adjacent Clement Park after being moved from the school's parking lot by grieving students. A long chain link fence was installed for mourners to attach teddy bears, letters and other gifts. Her younger brother, Craig, was also at the school on the day of the shootout. He was in the library where most of the killings occurred and he survived unharmed.
Rachel Scott's funeral on April 24, 1999, was attended by more than 2,000 people and was televised throughout the nation. It was the most watched event on CNN up to that point, surpassing even the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Roger Rosenblatt of Time magazine wrote in his commentary that her funeral was "... ineradicable because of the photograph of your bright and witty face, now sadly familiar to the country, and because of the loving and admiring testimonies of your family."
Rachel Joy Scott was posthumously awarded the 2001 National Kindness Award for Student of the Year by the Acts of Kindness Association. In 2006, the National Education Association (NEA) of New York awarded Darrell Scott and Rachel’s Challenge the Friend of Education Award.
In June, 2009, Darrell Scott was selected in a nationwide vote of more than 750,000 baseball fans as the Colorado Rockies "All-Stars Among Us" winner, based on individual public service for his efforts in starting the Rachel's Challenge campaign. He was honored along with the other 29 winners representing all major league baseball teams as part of the pregame ceremonies at the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 14, 2009.
- Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott (2000). Rachel's Tears—The Spiritual Journey of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott. Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers. pp. 57, 61, 173. ISBN 0-7852-6848-0.
- Rachel's Tears, p. 32.
- S.C. Gwynne (1999-12-20). "An Act of God?". Time magazine. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Rachel Joy Scott". Acolumbinesite.com. 1981-08-05. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "Preserving A Daughter's Spirit". CBS News. 2000-04-20. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Scott, Rachel (1999). "My Ethics, My Codes of Life". Rachel's Challenge. Retrieved 2009-05-05.[dead link]
- "Anne Frank, Rachel Scott: Two teens connected by terror".
- A Columbine Site
- "17-year-old girl 'shined for God at all times'", Rocky Mountain News
- Rosenblatt, Roger (May 10, 1999). "A Note for Rachel Scott". Time. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- Singer, Tim (June 29, 2009). "Scott is Rockies' All-Star Among Us". mlb.com. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Newman, Mark (July 14, 2009). "Obama kicks off historic night in St. Louis". mlb.com. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- Beth Nimmo, The Journals of Rachel Joy Scott: A Journey of Faith at Columbine High. 2001 (ISBN 0-8499-7594-8).
- Darrell Scott, Chain Reaction: A Call To Compassionate Revolution. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001 (ISBN 0-7852-6680-1).
- Darrell Scott, Rachel Smiles : The Spiritual Legacy of Columbine Martyr Rachel Scott. 2002 (ISBN 0-7852-6472-8).
- Vision Video, Untold Stories Of Columbine. 2000 (ISBN 1-56364-365-0). Recounts Rachel Scott's life and Darrell Scott's teaching
- Rachel's Challenge (official website)
- RachelJoyScott.com, (official website of Rachel Joy Scott Ministries and Memorial Fund, by Beth Nimmo, mother of Rachel Scott)
- Transcript of Darrell Scott's testimony, Subcommittee on Crime, U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, May 27, 1999.
- Darrell Scott Presentation, WVCY-TV broadcast, December 11, 1999
- Columbine victims -Rachel Joy Scott
- "Columbine redemption - Rachel Scott" website