Central High School students come together to stop the R-Word - KOTA Territory News

Central High School students come together to stop the R-Word

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Wednesday is the National Spread the Word to End the Word Day, and Central High School students are putting their foot down when it comes to the use of the word "retarded"or "retard", referred to as the R-word.

Central High School Senior Kelan Timm says that the word retard should not be used ever. "It's a very offensive word and no one should be called the R–word," said Timm."I have heard others being called it, and it doesn't make people feel very good."

Students and staff members recognize how the word affects others and they want to rid their halls of the word. Amy Heuston, special education teacher at Central High School, says that she thinks most of the time people don't use the word to be malicious. "I don't think they are trying to hurt people's feelings," said Heuston. "They are using it very flippantly which is even worse because they don't understand the consequences of that word when somebody hears it."

More than 100 Central High School students made a YouTube video to raise awareness. Last year's video had 700 views the whole year. This year's video has been posted for just 5 days and already has 1,500 hits.

Sophomore Paetyn Swigart was blown away by the YouTube views for a cause she can identify with herself. "When I found out that this many people watched I was just in awe," said Swigart. "When people found out I was dyslexic and they would call me retarded, and I didn't like that."

Having been on the wrong side of the word, Swigart wants to continue the work to end the R-word, and so does Kelan Timm. "Just stop using the R–word, watch the video, spread it to your friends and keep the movement going," said Swigart.  

The Spread the Word To end the Word National Campaign has almost 450,000 online pledges.

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