UT campaign focuses on reducing use of 'R' word

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Students at UT showed their support Wednesday for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In the "Spread the Word to End the Word" event, the Best Buddies Club on campus reminded people their use of language can be offensive. The group, which brings together allies and children with disabilities, is asking the Knoxville community to end the use of what they're calling the "R" word.

"Instead of using the hurtful word 'retarded,' you should use other language. And when you're saying the word 'retarded,' you probably mean stupid or dumb or something like that and our friends who have been called that in the past are not stupid -- they're not dumb," said Mandy Hackett, the president of Best Buddies UTK. "They're humans just like you."

Best Buddies partners with Student Council for Exceptional Children and Pi Kappa Phi to make the world more respectful. Their campaign focuses on using nicer R words, like "respect" and "radiance."


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