“Spread the Word to End the Word” - The "R" word

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Photos and article by Teresa Poe

Students, faculty, staff, and friends of Franklin County R-II School District have made a pledge to “Spread the Word to End the Word”.

Spread the Word is a movement to end the negative, derogatory use of the word "retard".

"The R-word, “retard,” is slang for the term mental retardation. Mental retardation was what doctors, psychologists, and other professionals used to describe people with significant intellectual impairment.

Today the r-word has become a common word used by society as an insult for someone or something stupid. For example, you might hear someone say, “That is so retarded” or “Don’t be such a retard.” When used in this way, the r-word can apply to anyone or anything, and is not specific to someone with a disability. But, even when the r-word is not said to harm someone with a disability, it is hurtful." ~ Excerpt from www.r-word.org

By allowing the continued acceptance of using this word in a demeaning way, we are allowing people to hurt the most vulnerable in our society. Many people with intellectual impairments are incapable of standing up for themselves, so we as a society need to do it for them. Let's give them a new r-word, RESPECT. Please visit www.r-word.org for more information.