Banning the R-word

Kellie+Repasi+%2811%29+signs+the+R-Word+Banner.+The+banner+was+out+at+lunches+on+March+8+and+10.

Kellie Repasi (11) signs the R-Word Banner. The banner was out at lunches on March 8 and 10.

Nicole Milaszewski

“What’s the R-word?” was a question asked almost every time someone approached the R-word Banner at lunch this Tuesday and Wednesday. The R-word, retard or retarded, is by definition to slow down the development or progress of something; however, the word has slowly evolved into something of bad meaning.

“It now has a negative connotation. Because of this, people should be more aware of how they use it,” Kylie Fehrman (11) said.

The Indian Athletic Council has been working to change the connotation by implementing the R-word Banner during student lunches. Students and staff alike could sign the banner to pledge not to use the R-word as everyday slang.

“[We are] trying to raise awareness for special needs by stopping the use of the R-word as an insult by having students sign a banner promising to do so,” Kylee Freckelton (11) said.

The R-word Banner is part of the campaign for the school to become a Champions Together School. Champions Together is a statewide program that promotes unified sports in schools.

“We’re creating a Unified Track Team to bring together the student athletes and the special needs kids because we’re separated in school. We’re trying to unify them because they always support our sports, so we should support theirs,” Fehrman said.

Through the R-word campaign and the Champions Together program, the Indian Athletic Council hopes to bring a new attitude to the school.

“Just because you’re different doesn’t mean it should put out in the spotlight in a bad kind of way,” Freckelton said.