The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign’s purpose is to spread awareness of the r-word and the harmful effects it has on individuals with disabilities. This campaign asks that people commit to stop saying the r-word for a start, towards creating attitudes that are more accepting of all people. West High has been a part of this campaign for nine years. You can also help support this campaign by purchasing a “Spread the Word to End the Word” t-shirt. All of the proceeds for the shirts help go to the local area Special Olympics. If you are interested please notify Mrs. Lacey Price-Evans at Morristown- Hamblen West High.
Oct. 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed “Rosa’ Law.” Rosa’s Law is a United States law that changed the word, “mental retardation,” in federal health and education to “intellectual disability/ disabilities.” This law was inspired by a nine year old girl named Rosa Marcellino.
Though you may not say it, you have probably heard people say the r-word (retarded) before. Truthfully, the r-word is not only derogatory, but it also establishes a barrier for people with disabilities. It also emphasizes the habitual belief that people with intellectual disabilities should be separated from society. Most people say the r-word when referencing something stupid. That alone suggests that people with disabilities are stupid and flawed, which is not true at all. The r-word is a form of hate speech due to it offending people with intellectual/ developmental disabilities. Tim Shriver, the CEO of Special Olympics quotes, “Words matter. People don’t need to scoff at others to make a point. Everyone has a gift and the world would be better off if we recognized it.”