Spread the Word to End the R-Word

Discussion in 'General Education' started by RainStorm, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 21, 2009

    It is time to “Spread the Word to End the Word” and on 31 March 2009 Special Olympics is calling for a national day of awareness for America to stop and think about their use of the R-word. That R-word is not “recession,” but something more hurtful and painful – “retard.”

    Most people don’t think of this word as hate speech, but that’s exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual disabilities, their families and friends. This word is just as cruel and offensive as any other slur.

    Spread the Word to End the Word will raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word and encourage people to pledge to stop using it. America will be asked to declare their support for more respectful and inclusive language, specifically that referring to those with intellectual disabilities.

    Created by young people with and without intellectual disabilities, Spread the Word to End the Word is one element of Special Olympics’ vision of a world where everyone matters, where everyone is accepted and, most importantly, where everyone is valued. Leading the way in promoting acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics opposes prejudice and discrimination, continuously working to dispel the negative stereotypes associated with this population — the use of the R-word being one such stereotype. In a world that has worked to eliminate pejorative racial and ethnic language such as the “N word,” among others, the R-word is gaining popularity.

    On 31 March, young people across the country will lead local efforts to raise awareness and collect pledges on www.r-word.org from peers and the community to vow not to use the R-word. Actor and activist John C. McGinley, of the hit show “Scrubs,” is helping with this effort by making national media appearances on behalf of the campaign. On 2 March 2009, he appeared on "The Bonnie Hunt Show."

    Our choice of language frames how we think about others.
    It is time to respect and value people with intellectual disabilities.

    Change the conversation...stop using the r-word.
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2009

    Wonderful cause, thanks for posting.

    I'm not sure if it's just the area that I'm in, but this is not a word that is commonly used here anymore. The word "retarded" is not a part of any of our identification categories for students with special needs, not sure if that's why it's fallen out of use or if people have just become more aware.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2009

    The ONE time I heard a student use that word (several years ago) he got SOME lecture from me.

    I haven't heard anyone say it since.
     
  5. Writer's Block

    Writer's Block Companion

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    Mar 21, 2009

    Excellent cause, Rainstorm!
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 21, 2009

    You might be interested in getting this free video from www.vpw.com/educational

    Everyone is Different - A music CD and activities booklet teaching understanding and acceptance

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    Grades: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

    Everyone is Different is an exciting new educational/musical program about difference: being different, feeling different, and being around others who may seem different. The program consists of a music CD, a songbook complete with music and lyrics, and a teacher’s guide with suggested discussion questions and suggestions for classroom activities.
    Each song presents a different aspect of intolerance: how it comes to be, why it happens, where it happens, and how it can be stopped. In actuality, everyone IS different and understanding and not being afraid of other's differences brings a richer experience of life for all students.

    The music and lyrics are composed and written for Forward Face by the award winning playwright, composer, lyricist and author, Elizabeth Swados. The songs are performed by young professionals in the theater arts. The music is varied; jazz, rock and roll, ballads, rap and gospel.

    Forward Face is a non-profit organization that supports children with facial differences and their families. Forward Face is dedicated to creating public awareness through educational programs dealing with difference.
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Mar 21, 2009

    The kid who utters the R-word in my classroom is in deep sneakers...... It's a word I will not tolerate.

    Major
     
  8. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2009

    I do not let students in my room use this word either.

    I heard about this campaign on K-Love radio. I think both are great! :)
     
  9. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Mar 21, 2009

    BTW, if any of you have never worked a Special Olympics event.... please do so.. Some of those kids have never received a pat on the back, or better yet a hug for successfully participating in an event.........:):):)
     
  10. SoCal_Sub

    SoCal_Sub Rookie

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    Mar 21, 2009

    Back when I was in Elementary school, the word "retarded" was not used as an insult. It was the appropriate term to use when describing someone who has a mental handicap. We would say, "he's mentally retarded." There was nothing wrong with saying that. But political correctness and young kids using it as an insult, changed our vocabulary. Changing the vocabulary doesn't change the definition.
     
  11. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2009

    I haven't heard anyone use that word for a long time. I'm not sure I want to let my students know about the "Spread the word End the word" day because they might start using it.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 22, 2009

    On a slightly related note:

    Three times a year, my school does a huge fundraiser. We do it for Advent, Lent, and after Easter, as the Easter season. So far this year, we've broken Island Harvest's record for the most food at a single fundraiser, and sent much needed medical and first aid supplies to Haiti.

    After Easter, we're fundraising for Camp Anchor. It's the local summer camp for the disabled. They're centered at one of the local beaches, but need an administration building. We're hoping to get the money from our kids to get that building up and going for this summer.

    A lot of my kids volunteer at Camp Anchor, and they're anxiously anticipating that fundraiser. Wish us luck! The more our kids work with and for these special needs kids, the less likely they are to tolerate the use of that word or anything similar.

    http://www.campanchor.org/
     
  13. amedinaoh

    amedinaoh Companion

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    Mar 22, 2009

    I don't use the word nor have I heard it in a long time but remember...retard is short for retarded or retardation. Retarded in definition is not a bad word. It was a word used in appropriate application in the 80's to define students that showed slow academic/social growth. Just like we don't call blacks/african-americans "colored" anymore but the NAACP shorthand has not been changed to reflect our new language. If we don't teach where words come from and why we don't use them anymore, it perpetuates the awe and thrill of using the word. It is very controversial though.
     
  14. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Alice,

    Camp Anchor is wonderful! My individuals attend every summer and I vist them there. It's truly amazing.
     
  15. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Several of my the individuals I serve are special olympian athletes... amazingly talented men and women.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 22, 2009

    Hey MissFrizz!!!

    Yeah, we're really hoping we can get them a good part of the building they need.
     

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