The New “R” Word: Respect

All through the month of  March, Nashoba Regional High School, along with many other schools, have been celebrating Best Buddies everywhere. However, there is one day in particular that gets the most recognition. That day is March 4; National Spread the Word to End the Word day. Students, Best Buddies, and teachers all came together to help spread awareness to end the use of the “R” word.

Photo/Nashoba Spread the Word Video

Nashoba Regional High School has a dedicated and caring Best Buddies program where students can help out in many ways. They can choose to join Best Buddies and get their own buddy to do activities with. They  can also sign up for classes with Best Buddies, such as gym, health, or art. Students can also sign up to help with Best Buddies unified track, the Special Olympics, and unified hockey. While walking through the halls or the cafeteria you will notice that all students are accepting to the Best Buddies, whether it’s having a conversation in the hallway or sitting together at lunch. The relationships that are made between the students with the Best Buddies are long lasting and special to everyone.

Photo/Hanna Drugge

Even though not every students helps out with a Best Buddy program, March 4th is a day that most Nashoba students celebrate and take part in. Last year, students signed a “Spread the Word to End the Word,” banner to pledge to stop using the “R” word, and instead make the new “R” word, respect. This year, students signed their names on little papers and hung them on the window in the cafeteria to show their support to end the use of the “R” word. Students also watched a video (found below) made by peers about the acceptance of everyone because everyone is unique. Many of the Best Buddies, including Gwen Burke, talked in the video about what respect means to them, and the importance of getting rid of the “R” word.

Best buddy, Gwen Burke said, “As you see, like I said in the video, we all have differences and God made us and God loves us for who we are. We were born with it. We should never use the “R” word. It’s really not “angelish” or “heavenish”. It hurts peoples feelings and breaks their hearts, and [they can] feel so blue and sad.”

The use of the “R” word is not only offensive, but it is also a form of bullying. Like Gwen, and all the other best buddies have said, we are all different, so we have to appreciate and respect one another.

Elena Reverdy, Sarah Clopeck, and Sean Pokorney