Alex Felts and other high school students in Plymouth, Michigan, have launched a campaign to end the use of the r-word. Felts, a senior, has dylexia, and decided to start the campaign against the use of the six-letter word after another student called her that word because she attends resource room. “I was so upset because it just is not a good word,” she says.
Other students have joined with Felts to participate in a national campaign under the Special Olympics to end the use of the r-word. The Plymouth high school students are planning to make a banner to alert their school community about the campaign; they will also encourage people to sign a pledge not to use the word. In addition, they plan to hold a bake sale, sell bracelets and pencils on Friday to raise money for the Special Olympics and also for the Food Exploration Class for students with disabilities.
Felts and other students have filmed a public service announcement calling on people to “spread the word to end the word.”
Felts says she plans to become a special education teacher herself. “The students with disabilities, they are just as smart as everyone else,” she says — a message that should itself be spread far and wide, and even more so as they are spoken by someone who really knows how much words can hurt.
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