NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The Character Education Committee, a group of four New Providence High School students, is trying to bring awareness to the national campaign, “Spread the Word to End the Word” at New Providence High School.
Colin Forbes, Brielle Carleen, Katie Kinum and Sarah Bottazzi will have a pledging station at the Pioneer Potluck Pigout at New Providence High School on Tuesday, Feb. 23 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Students who sign the pledge to end the use of the word “retarded” as a demeaning and pejorative insult will receive a free wristband. There will also be T-shirts available for $15 as well.

With the help of guidance counselor Christine Noppenberger, these four students are trying to raise awareness that the “R word” (retarded) is a hurtful expression that has no place in the vocabulary of teens anymore. In fact, in 2010, President Obama signed Rosa’s Law, which replaces the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from all federal health, education and labor policy with the term “intellectual disability” to establish dignity, inclusion and respect to all people with intellectual disabilities.

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Originally a clinical term, “mental retardation” has become widely used in today’s society to degrade, taunt and stigmatize. The Character Education Committee wants to use this campaign to spread the message that the language you use is important and that no form of the R-word is appropriate in our culture any longer.

During halftime at the New Providence vs. Governor Livingston boys basketball game, students from The Children’s Institute in Livingston, NJ will play a ten minute basketball game.

You can sign the pledge to “Spread the Word to End the Word” at the Pioneer Potluck Pigout at NPHS.  Admission is $10 ($7 for students, $5 for Seniors.)  This includes dinner and admission to the basketball games vs. Governor Livingston. 100-percent of the proceeds directly benefit the student athletes and the NPHS Athletic Program.