Mar 8th, 2013
LAKE WALES – Lake Wales High’s newest student club is promoting the national “Spread the Word to End the Word” effort to discourage people from using the word “retarded.”
The Best Buddies/Joy Club is open to students of all abilities, and its primary goal is to encourage respect for those with intellectual disabilities.
All week (March 4-8), club members have been working with students and staff from Lake Wales High, Bok Academy, Our Children’s Academy and Circle of Friends to collect pledges to “Spread the Word to End the Word.”
“They have been raising consciousness about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the words ‘retard’ and ‘retarded’,” explained teacher and club sponsor Marla Raulerson.
During a school-wide “morning meeting” on Monday (March 4), LWHS Best Buddies President Tashana Reid and Vice President Edgar Negron – along with Heather Castle, program manager for Tampa Best Buddies – shared information about the effort.
On Wednesday (March 6), a group of Best Buddies/Joy Club members visited Bok Academy. Bok students were invited to sign pledges and add signed hearts to a banner representing their commitment to end saying the R-word.
PHOTO: Members of Best Buddies/Joy Club include (l-r) Bryan Holliday, Brittany Brude, Maruxa Morales, Polly Snow, Keke Gillyard, Kiarra Lucas, Paul Altman, Audrey Taylor and Ned Gillyard.