Teaching Children about the R Word

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[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/b9ut2feg2GU” title=”Soeren%20Palumbo%27s%20Illinois%20Senate%20Address%205%2F16%2F07″]

Soeren Pambulo set so many people straight about the R word. Teens and children throw this word around like the word stupid some of them without intention some of them in an attempt to hurt other’s feelings. But regardless of the intent, the word retard should be considered just as off-limits as faggot, nigger, or any other racial or discriminatory assault on humans.

We each have human dignity because God created us and loved us into being. No person is less than another person. Every person deserves respect and love. When these words are spoken there is nothing but blatant disrespect and disregard for their fellow human beings.

I highly recommend you watch the You Tube video of Soeren’s Speech. Share it with your friends and family.

I showed it to my students and quite a few changed their perspective on the R word. But a few outspoken students said they believed it was fine to use this word because it means stupid. I explained to them that just because their culture and experience endorses such a horrible word does not justify it. After all slavery and segregation, even the Holocaust in some parts of Germany was accepted in that culture.

This word and its use are unjust, morally and ethically wrong. Until someone took a stand against slavery it continued but that never made it right. Justifying the use of a dehumanizing word because others use it is not a valid reason to conform.

Please teach your children to respect all people: black, white, gay, straight, Jewish, Christian, mentally challenged, or physically challenged. We all have human dignity and deserve to be loved and treated with compassion. Give up the “R” word and replace it with kindness.

Copyright 2013 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp

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About Author

Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.

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