Ask yourself, do you know someone with special needs or a learning disability? Odds are, the answer is probably yes. Almost everyone knows a loved one, friend, or just someone in the school or community with developmental disabilities. The “R” word campaign was started by a partnership of more than 200 nonprofit organizations nationwide with the intent to take action against the slur “retarded.” As a high school student, I know just how often this word is used in casual conversation. Usually, people are not trying to be offensive when they use the word, but it can be very hurtful to people who have special needs. Since this popular slang sometimes seems to just slip out, the R word campaign is dedicated to reminding people to take a conscious effort to keep the word “retarded” out of their vocabulary. With slogans such as “Respect is the New R Word” and “Spread the Word to End the Word,” the creators of the campaign are encouraging people everywhere to find alternatives in their vocabulary to this offensive word.
On Wednesday, March 2, Hanover High School students will be taking the pledge to end their use of the R word. A banner will be displayed at all three lunches and students will sign a pledge stating that they will be more open-minded and careful when speaking. Mrs. Curley has taken charge of this campaign at Hanover High, and has been working tirelessly with her Partnership in Art classes to create posters and fliers to remind students that the R word is not permitted in this school. In addition, Student Council and the Parntership in Art class have paired up to design R word campaign t-shirts that will be worn by many students and teachers next Wednesday. All profits made will be donated to the Special Olympics. So, if you bought a shirt, make sure to wear it on Wednesday and remember, spread the word to end the word!
To learn more, visit http://www.r-word.org/