The Surveyor

Spread the Word to End the Word

How Washington Does Its Part

Rielle Jones-Teske, Staff Reporter/Photographer

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If you walked through the foyer of Washington High School on March third this year, you may have noticed something out of the ordinary. In front of the Student Center, there were a bunch of people wearing blue shirts, handing out stickers and encouraging everyone to sign their giant poster. Those folks were the special needs kids at school, their helpers, plus friends and supporters. March third was Spread the Word to End the Word day, a nation-wide event that Washington participates in every year. The goal of the movement is to spread awareness about the hurtfulness of the r-word, retard(ed). The r-word is detrimental to the well-being of special needs kids because it is exclusive, offensive, and derogatory. Language is extremely powerful, as it has the power to affect attitudes, which in turn affect actions. Halting the use of the r-word is a good step towards creating more accepting mindsets and communities. So, to accomplish what seems like a monumental task, every year Washington does its part with a poster, stickers, and shirts. The blue shirts worn by movement supporters are a bright clue that lets students know there’s an event going on. The stickers are a small token for signing the poster, which is the main attraction. When students sign the poster, they are pledging to never again use the r-word in a derogatory or hurtful way. This may seem like a small act, but every signature matters. Each pledge is a step toward making the world more friendly for everyone.

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About the Writer
Rielle Jones-Teske, Chief Photographer
I love to travel, read, write short stories, listen to music, and learn. I dislike feeling like there’s not enough time in the day, gnats, and discrimination. I am class president and will be involved in soccer, academic decathlon, student senate, Amnesty, and Washington Literary Press. After high school, I hope to move far away...
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