Spread the word to end the word


Sophia Moore , reporter

Have you ever payed attention to how many people around school use the word retard in their everyday vocabulary? Although the word retard is used as a label for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it’s also used for causing offense towards people with these disabilities. This word is used as a substitute for words such as “stupid” or “lame”. Most people don’t understand the effect this word has on other people, especially the ones who have this label or are close to people who are called that. This is a common issue at Woodland Park High School. We took a trip down to the special ed class on campus and asked some people how this topic made them feel. Meghan Snook, a helper in the special ed program at Woodland Park High School, was interviewed on this subject. When asked how the word “retard” affected her, she replied with “it upsets me, definitely. Not really getting full of anger but more along the lines of wanting people to understand what they’re saying”. She also said that she hears the word used a lot on school campus. When she was asked if she ever told anyone not say it, she answered with “I always speak up. I usually ask them to come to me and I introduce them to a special needs students so they know who they’re affecting”. Mrs. Snook also talked about how she knows it’s not other student’s fault that they use this word. Some kids just grow up with it in their childhood environment and don’t fully understand that it may affect some people because it’s never been put into perspective for some of them. Later Michael brooks, a student in the special needs program, was interviewed. During the interview Michael was asked if he ever heard kids use that word around school. He replied with “Not really”. During this discussion he said he was used to it so he never really gets offended anymore. The next student that was interviewed was Logan Adair, he is a senior here at Woodland Park High School. He was asked how this word affects him, he said he considers it bullying. He says he doesn’t experience much bullying here, but when he hears people say it he just ignores them. Over time he has become immune to the word. It’s not fair that these kids are taught to ignore their feelings and are forced to just be okay with the word that offends them. Society should be taught the effects this word has on people to hopefully prevent it from being used. Sadly instead of fixing the issue kids are being taught that it’s okay to say things that hurt these special needs students. There are so many other words that could be used as a replacement for the “R” word. Just grab a thesaurus.