Darrell Scott received a standing ovation after giving a presentation of his daughter’s life, Rachel Joy Scott – one of 12 victims killed at Columbine High School in 1999.
Scott spoke to a packed house of over 800 people in Campbell Hall Wednesday night, showing video clips, pictures and the diary his daughter left behind.
“We’ve heard from other campuses about Darrell Scott’s powerful story, and I figured that especially with the tragedy which happened to our own campus two years ago, I thought it might have a big impact on this campus,” Kyle Menig, Campus Crusade for Christ member, UCSB alumnus and event organizer, said, referring to the incident in which David Attias killed four people and injured a fifth with his car on Sabado Tarde Road in February 2001.
Darrell Scott dedicated his presentation to those who were affected by the tragedy on Sabado Tarde and to anyone who has lost a loved one.
Scott has become internationally famous for his books, videos, merchandise and talks on the life and death of his daughter, Rachel, who was wounded and then killed by Eric Harris at Columbine High School. Scott has spoken to over one million people, including former President Bill Clinton, and has testified before Congress on the topic of the Columbine tragedy.
Rachel’s story has become popular with religious groups – many people believe she died a martyr because after wounding Scott, Harris reportedly asked her, “Do you still believe in God?” while pointing a gun at her head. Richard Castaldo, who was shot and wounded near Rachel, said her reply was “you know I do.” Darrell Scott claims Harris replied, “Then go be with him” and shot her in the temple.
“Rachel reached out to people and loved people for who they were,” Scott said. “She wasn’t highly religious, but she was spiritual.”
Rachel’s brother Craig, who was also at Columbine High during the shooting, escaped by playing dead.
“It was the worst day of my life,” Scott said. “We were sent to an elementary school and we didn’t find out until the next day that our daughter Rachel was dead. It is probably the biggest agony of a parent not to know whether or not your son or daughter is alive.”
Brooks Brown, who claims to have been a close friend of Harris and Dylan Klebold, talked about Rachel’s influence on his life in a video, “Untold Stories of Columbine,” featuring Darrell Scott.
Scott claims he has no political agenda and says he is not religious; however, the four books he has written since his daughter’s death, including America’s Christian Roots, all include religious themes. “Rachel was secure in her own belief and she was an absolutely true Christian,” Brown said in the video. “She was what Christians were intended to be, because she lived out her faith.”
Scott said Rachel left behind six diaries with many entries talking about her faith and how she wanted to impact the world. The diaries have changed the lives of many people, whose stories are told in Rachel’s Tears, written by Darrell Scott. Scott encouraged audience members to reach out to people, like his daughter.
“I challenge all of you to call a person who has had an impact on your life and thank them in the next three days. I also challenge you to make everyday a chance to reach out to others.”