Monday, March 30, 2009

Spread the Word

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
~ Anne Frank

Laura Stockman lives Anne Frank's words. Her blog 25 Days to Make a Difference never fails to inspire me to do more for others and our world. Her most recent challenge, a blog carnival on the r-word to promote Spread the Word to End the Word. Blog about the r-word. Tell how it makes you feel and how you will help put an end to it. Leave a comment on her blog with a link to your post and you may win a Flip video camera.

If I were caught up with my reader and feeds I wouldn't have missed this chance with my students, but we are on spring break this week. I can't have them add their voices to my own, but I know how the r-word makes me feel.

Stupid. Idiot. Moron. What are you a re...?

Stop! Don't say it. Language makes a difference. Language can divide or it can unite. The r-word, when I hear others say it, makes me feel awful inside. The meanness and judgment is palpable in the word. In my classroom, students, even in jest, are not allowed to use the r-word or any words that belittle someone's thinking or abilities. It's mean. It's abusive and I don't tolerate it. I tell students that using those words can and will result in disciplinary action. I let them know that abusing their peers or others with those words will result in a referral for harassment. We can not build a learning community in our classrooms, much less a humane community in our societies, if we use the r-word or let others use it around us.

Stop using the r-word. Take the pledge today. Share it with your students. Don't wait a single minute --do something to make a difference today.

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