Best Buddies Campaigns to end slurs

Allison Figueroa, Public Relations

It’s a large sheet of butcher paper, royal purple, a color barely visible under hundreds of signatures. President of Best Buddies McKenzie Kennedy sits behind it, dishing out Crunch Bars and other treats to thank students for their pledge to not say the R-word.

“We’re trying to end the use of that offensive word,” Kennedy, senior, said. “Its a nationwide campaign.”

Mar. 4, Best Buddies held their annual pledge promotion to end the ableist word, and there’s no better time; March is Special Needs Awareness month, and Best Buddies is leading the charge to abolish the slur.

“[People using the R-word] don’t know how disabled people feel, they think they don’t understand,” Caroline Medina, ESE teacher, said. “But some do know what it that word means and it’s really just sad.”

The protocol to enhance awareness and educate people of the true impact of the R-word is handed down from the national Best Buddies organization themselves. Campaigns like these have been going on since 1989 when the nonprofit was founded.

“If we can get 50 percent of the school to come to the table and ask questions,” Medina said. “We will get more people not the say it.”