On March 18, 2016, Mary Persons High School held an R-Word Rally that brought together the entire school community together. The high school is located in Forsyth, GA, and has been participating in Unified Sports and Best Buddies for the 2015-2016 school year. The Rally brought 1200 students and 20 teachers together to spread awareness to eliminate the R-Word. This has created a wonderful impact on the students and athletes; thanks to all on your hard work to Spread the Word to End the Word!

To view the entire story, click on the link below:





The self-contained classes at White County Middle School led a school-wide initiative for “Spread the Word to End the Word”. On Wednesday, March 4, 2015 students and staff of WCMS were given the opportunity during their lunch periods to make the pledge to support the elimination of the derogatory use of the “R-word” from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of the “Spread the Word to End the Word” pledge drive was to raise awareness of the hurt and pain that is caused by the use of the R-word, “retard” or “retarded”. Public service announcements were made by students and staff of WCMS and played school-wide during morning announcements during the week leading up to the pledge drive event. Pledge tables were ran by WCMS self-contained students and community volunteers. Special thanks go to Dr. Mary Kay Berry, Jane Grillo, Mia Corcimiglia, Chris Anderson, Sharon Brown, Kim Futch, and Noreen Elliott for volunteering their time to help with this event. Community volunteers assisted with the online pledge and our students gave out flyers, passed out pledge stickers, and assisted with the signing of the banner. The pledge banner will be proudly displayed in the halls of WCMS. The pledge drive was a huge success with 544 students and staff from WCMS making the pledge to make respect their new R-word. We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.




On March 2nd, 2016 we will kick off our annual Spread the Word to End the Word awareness day!

We have a busy day planned and want to make sure you have the tools and information to help Spread the Word!

  • Click here to view all resources and tools to host your own R-Word Rally in your community
  • If you haven’t had the chance yet, visit the RWordStore TODAY and order your merchandise in time for March 2nd! T-shirts, banners, stickers, caps, galore are available for purchase!
  • Please continue to post your events! We have over 50 events posted already but we know there are more happening! We want to hear from you. Please register your event today!
  • Pledge and get your friends to pledge! This year we want 50,000 Tweeted pledges. Start tweeting today: I pledge #Respect thru my words and actions. Will you? Pledge now to create communities of inclusion for people with ID r-word.org.
  • Keep the conversation going! After you’ve tweeted your pledge, be sure to use #Rword hashtag to join the conversation on Twitter and amplify our message!
  • Like and tag our Facebook page in posts and don’t forget to encourage everyone to use our Facebook Cover Photo to tell all their friends that they’re are a fan of respect!
  • Watch for a press release announcing our progress in the last six years that will be shared in our press room on Wednesday, March 2nd. Visit our press room to download the release and share with your networks.

Continue to share your stories! We know you have stories and it’s never been easier to share yours with the world! Share your story! It’s quick, easy and fun!

The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International and Special Olympics supporters to raise the consciousness of society and 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 at www.r-word.org in order to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.

Pledge, and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities at the official R-WORD WEBSITE.

Contact Robert Yost if you would like more information on the R-Word movement (robert.yost@specialolympicsga.org).