BY RACHEL SHARPE
On Monday, October 11th, the members of CCHS’s Best Buddies Chapter introduced a national campaign called “Spread the Word to End the Word” in an effort to raise awareness against the use of the word “retarded.”
Best Buddies is a club that gives students the opportunity to create one-on-one friendships with other students who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. In honor of the special day, members of Best Buddies wore purple, the color of awareness towards individuals who are mentally disabled. During both A and B lunches,purple ribbons were handed out and painted on students faces by the Best Buddies officers. A banner was hung under the red awning for students to sign, as their pledge to “end the word.”
Many students use the word ‘retarded’ in everyday conversation without realizing its dehumanizing effect and the unfavorable stereotype that it can generate.
“It is really important to spread the word because it is not politically correct and it is also disrespectful,” said Best Buddies vice-president Janel Escoto. “When you call someone (retarded), you are making fun of kids with disabilities.”
The day was a huge success and members of Best Buddies plan to continue to raise awareness against the “R” word throughout the year.
“We are hoping that students around school will keep the promise that they made, in an effort to end the word that is so harmful,” said Best Buddies Treasurer Anastasia Pavlinskaya.