Yesterday Special Olympics Delaware hosted one of TSD’s favorite SODE events of the year – Spread the Word to End the Word. The focus was to unite Special Olympics Delaware with students in schools at all levels across the state in a global movement of mutual respect and human dignity.
The goal is to ask people to stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of all forms of the word “retard,” and just as importantly, take a pledge to promote respect and acceptance for everyone.
Spread the Word to End the Word, in its ninth year, is a campaign created by youth to raise awareness about the negative impact of the slang word “retard(ed)” — or the R-word — and encourage people to stop and think about its derogatory uses in casual conversation. The motivation for the campaign is driven by the belief that language influences attitudes, and that positive attitude change can make the world a more accepting place for people with intellectual disabilities.
Students across the state participated in pledge drives, campaigns, and educational activities to encourage students to stop the use of the R-word. Nearly 150 Delaware preschool, elementary, middle and high schools, along with the University of Delaware and the Del Tech Owens and Terry campuses, participated in the campaign.
“The day is an opportunity for students in schools to rally behind the premise that respecting individuals of all abilities and backgrounds should remain at the forefront of every action and decision they make on a daily basis,” said Kylie Frazer, Special Olympics Delaware director of school programs. “Fortunately, nowadays the majority of students already respect all of their peers, but the activities on this one day just reinforces for everyone the importance of treating everyone with respect.”