End the “R- Word”


Skyler Eaton

This is the banner for students to sign as their pledge to end the use of the “r-word.”

Skyler Eaton

The “Spread the Word to End the Word” annual campaign that has been around since 2009 when college students, Soeren Palumbo and Tim Shriver, founded it. The campaign is gain attention worldwide with the intention to end the use of the “r-word. The word “retard” or “retarded”, started as a medical term, but throughout the years it has changed to be used in hurtful ways. Many who use the word are not realizing they are offending anyone when they say it. People are not taking into perspective what their peers  around them may be going through, and saying the “r-word” could really offend someone. Rather than using this hurtful word, there are many other options to replace the word. Having these other options will help to eliminate the word because it is not a necessary, everyday word and there are alternative options.

To end the use of the horrible world, there is an online pledge that can be signed on www.r-word.org. There is also a banner that students will be able to sign on Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 as their pledge to end their use of the “r-word”. The campaign is mostly for awareness, and the goal is to teach the real definition and realize how people can be offended by it. They started this campaign with the hope that everyone around the world will think more about their word choice, and how the “r-word” could be used in a hurtful way.

The OHS Staff prepared for this day in multiple different ways. To many, this campaign is very important, as it will let students learn about the campaign, and to get students to pledge and sign the banner. Mrs. Rose Ragatz posted about the pledge on Facebook and Twitter with the intention to help people hear about the campaign. Personally, Mrs. Ragatz and Mrs. Jeno, are very offended by the word. If they hear someone say it, they politely ask for them to use a different word, or change what they are saying. This also helps spread awareness about the campaign to end the use of the word. Ragatz says, “If you hear something, say something. The word can make people really sensitive, and it should never be used in a hurtful way.”

The “r-word” has only ever created negative consequences for anyone saying or hearing the word. It has never been used in a nice way, or in a way that can make someone feel better about themselves. Jeno adds, “Be mindful with your words.” Many people who use the “r-word”, or other negative words, tend to not realize the pain and offense it can bring someone. Both Ragatz and Jeno agreed that “words hurt.”