Spread the word to end the word


Jack kleeberger

End the R-word student made ribbon.

Jack Kleeberger , Writer

“Spread the word to end the word” is a United States National Campaign that was founded back in 2009. The sole purpose of this campaign is to educate people on the hurtful and dehumanizing nature of the word ‘retard,’ while promoting a positive and inclusive environment for everyone. Wednesday, March. 6 marked national “Spread the Word to End the Word” day. OHS has participated in the campaign for four years, spreading a message of inclusion and acceptance for all people, disabled or not. In the commons area during all lunches on March. 6, students had the opportunity to make a pledge against this offensive word. These pledges were then hung around the school for people to see, and students who signed the banner received a sticker.

Starting in 2019, OHS plans to take this message of inclusion a step further. On Tuesday, March. 12, students and staff will have an opportunity to engage with a speaker regarding some of these issues. Special Education teacher, Mrs. Marilyn Olson said, “We would like to see students not just celebrating this pledge for only one day. It’s really more about accepting people for who they are, and dropping stereotypes that are learned at home.” This campaign is going to be a crucial step towards inclusion and acceptance of all people, and it is something OHS looks to expand on in the future.

Since 2009, over 780,000 people have made an online pledge to eliminate the use of the word ‘retard’ from their everyday speech. Despite these incredible efforts, the organization is looking to change the nature of the campaign, hence this years theme of inclusion. While people are making the pledge to stop using the R-word, many still believe that those with disabilities should be segregated from others in schools and the workplace. Learning to accept all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or disabilities is going to be the next step for this organization moving forward.