One answer to school shootings is right before our face. Over seven school shootings and 500 suicides were prevented because of the real life story of Rachel Joy Scott who was a victim of bullying, depression and the Columbine school shooting. Many remember her as the girl who was targeted and killed for her outspoken Christian faith during the shooting.
The prevented school shootings and suicides come from her father Darrell Scott who runs the Rachel’s Challenge ministry and has personally met the faces and read the letters of thousands of people changed by Rachel Scott’s story and her bestselling diary book. The ministry has reached millions and has gone international.
There is also a 2016 full length feature motion picture on her life called “I am Not Ashamed”.
Why have I not heard about the movie?
At one time the film’s trailer was blacklisted by YouTube. The film drew many critics, one included a group called The Atheist Show, who disliked that Rachel was seen as a religious martyr for her faith and contest the central story. Such groups began a nationwide campaign to flag the You Tube film trailer as inappropriate. As a result, You Tube blocked the video from being shown. The people behind the film told Fox News, “[YouTube] would not give any explanation, no explanation whatsoever, why they… [took it down]…we’ve lost 11 months of being able to use social media freely. We feel it’s an interference with our freedom of expression.”
YouTube at the last minute before the movie’s premier relented and lifted the censorship. By then it was too late. The censorship against “I Am Not Ashamed” was successful in damaging the film’s debut and hurting its reach to young audiences who desperately needed to hear it.
When I heard about this censorship campaign, I went out and bought 10 DVD copies and gave it to any friends I know who had kids. I will not stand by and let censors bully a heroic Christian woman’s story from being told.
I light of school shooting in Florida, we need to showcase this film which has had an amazing impact at preventing suicide and school shootings. Her story matters and resonates with students who also struggle with depression, suicide and bullying.