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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kids Challenged to Think First, Speak Second

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Lindsay Podraza
Lindsay Podraza
Lindsay Podraza is an editor and contributor for Town Square Delaware. She's a Tar Heel, former newspaper reporter and barbecue aficionado. Lindsay also writes for the Penn Law Journal, the school's alumni magazine.

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Abolish the “r-word?” Thousands of students across Delaware thought that was a pretty solid idea and pledged to stop using the slang word “retard(ed)” last week.

It was part of the annual national Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, said Jon Buzby, a spokesman for Special Olympics Delaware, in a release. Youth with the Project UNIFY program created the campaign seven years ago. It encourages people to stop using the word and challenges people to think before they speak.

Nearly 80 preschool, elementary, middle and high schools, along with the University of Delaware and the Del Tech Owens and Terry campuses, participated, Buzby said.

Activities included: Explaining general information about the campaign in morning announcements, holding assemblies with youth speakers, distributing information cards, signing a pledge banner and encouraging others to pledge support online at www.r-word.org.

Above are some pictures of participants from Polytech High School, Spring Middle, Bush ECC and Hanby Middle during the March 4 event.

(Photos courtesy of Special Olympics Delaware.)

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Preliminary work generated minimal congestion – so far. Pandemic restrictions cut commuting traffic, and alternative routes were popular.

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‘I’m getting lots of different answers,” Kathy Butler McDermott said. ‘But not ‘We got it covered.’ Nobody’s saying that.’

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