If you felt picked on or not respected by the people you see nearly every day, how would you feel? What if you're a student and don't have a choice? Children who don't feel safe can’t concentrate on their studies, don’t connect with their classmates, or don't go to school at all. Do you know if your
- School's physical, emotional, academic, and social climate is safe, friendly, and student-centered?
- Students feel valued, respected, and cared for and are motivated to learn?
- School upholds social justice and equity concepts and practices mutual respect for individual differences at all levels of school interactions—student-to-student, adult-to-student, and adult-to-adult?
One of the components of a whole child approach to education is that each student—and we do mean each, no matter his or her talents or challenges—learns in an intellectually challenging environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults. Spread the Word to End the Word is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International, and other supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.
The campaign, created by youth, is intended to engage schools, organizations, and communities to rally and pledge their support. Watch the PSA: