Children First: Spreading the word to end the word - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Spreading the word to end the word

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Students at Rapid City Central High School are willing to do whatever it takes to stop others from using the word "retarded."

"I know how they want to be treated, because they just want to be treated like a normal kid. And, the 'R–word' Does affect them in ways that we don't even know because we're not in their position," said Nathan Atherton, a member of student council at Central High School.

So, special education teacher Amy Heuston took matters into her own hands and created a video with her students to encourage others to stop using the hateful word.

"There was a fire lit underneath them to spread the word about ending the use of the word retarded," said Heuston.

The passion project's message is one that resonates with people from all walks of life.

"It means a lot to me to spread this message to not see the 'R–word' because it is a big problem in the school and it does hurt people's feelings and it shouldn't be used," said Kelan Timm, a Central High student.

In Heuston's "Coffee Shop for Students with Disabilities", students take on a visible role in the daily happenings around school.

"We're a big part of our community here at Central. So it's very cool to be able to go a step further to include my students," said Heuston.

And as other high schools across the country participate in similar campaigns, Heuston hopes the future is "R –word" free.

"20 years from now, I don't think it's even going to be apart of our lingo. I think everyone's going to recognize it's socially acceptable to say that word anymore," said Heuston.

"Don't use the 'R- word'. That's the main point here," said Timm.

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