Wednesday, March 1st,  Prairie High School participated in Spread the Word to End the Word. This day is dedicated to the student body signing a poster to agree to giving up saying the “R word.” Spread the Word to End the Word was very successful among the school.

Mrs. Van Hemert says “It started because the R word was used all the time.” Which is true. Not only high school students but everyone says the R word without even intentionally meaning to target a specific group of people. However, it does, but most people don’t even realize they’re doing it.

In more detail, when people say the R word they’re referring to an object, a way of a thing, or a close friend. What people don’t realize is that this word is another way to refer to a special needs child and/or adult.

Mrs. Van Hemert referred to yesterday as a sign of spreading respect. Having so many people commit to signing the poster means that Prairie’s study body is agreeing to treat others the way that they themselves want to be treated. Everyone is different, and Prairie’s students proved that they greatly understand that.

Everyday these students come to school just like anyone else. Several participate in sports and academic awards such as honor roll. They do their best everyday to make their life what they want it, just like everyone else. “Everyday I get to interact with people with disabilities and see how incredible they are” says Mrs. Van Hemert.

Spread the Word to End the Word is an amazing organization that everyone should take part in. It allows students to feel safe and comfortable in their school. Everyone deserves to be treated the same exact way and this organization allows for this to be made possible. If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the poster signed on Wednesday there are several other ways to take part. Feel welcome to email Mrs. Van Hemert at for ways to get involved. Let your voice be heard!

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