Students at West Orange – Stark High School have joined with Special Olympics,, and numerous others across the nation to eliminate the R-word March 7.

WO-S Teacher Mary Jagoe said, “The ‘R-word’ or ‘retard(ed)’ has found a place in common language and seems to be accepted by most, despite the fact that its use, casual or otherwise, is hurtful to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those that love them.”

Students at the WO-S High School acted upon the opportunity to become involved with the Erase the R-Word campaign.

Many have taken the pledge to remove the word from their vocabulary, signed a student made banner to stop the use of the word, and are applauding the efforts of school ambassadors who have become a part of the state-wide effort to “Spread the Word to End the Word.”

Sarai Spell and Eric Franklin, both WO-S High School students, are two of 14 state ambassadors and members of the Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee, assisting with the national promotion to Erase the R-word.

“These students have encouraged the communities of southeast Texas to get involved by taking the pledge to ‘Spread The Word to End the Word’ on March 7, 2012 at” Jagoe said.

Spell and Jagoe recently created a short video to support the project. It is viewable on You Tube at