Citadel students join movement to stop the using 'r-word'

By Gregory Woods

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- All around the country Tuesday, thousands of people pledged to stop using the word 'retarded.'

The national organization Spread the Word to End the Word has taken on the fight against a word that offends disabled people. Students at The Citadel joined the national fight against the R-word.

"I don't think people really think about the hurtful affects it has to people with disabilities," said Tyler Woolum who helped organized the school's petition. "People associate the word with being stupid and not intelligent."

For those reasons the president of the school felt it was important to make a pledge of his own.

"Anyone with special needs certainly deserves respects from all of us," said John Rosa, President of The Citadel.

Nationally the movement has already collected nearly 500,000 pledges online. The goal at the Citadel is to collect 200 signatures; each pledge comes with a responsibility.

"We are asking people to completely wipe the word out their vocabulary and to ask others if they hear it to stop using the word and to think of another word to say instead," said Woolum.

Woolum says it's an important lesson, to choose your words wisely.

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