News & Media


SASD Press Archives

South Students, Parents and Staff Say No to the ‘R-Word'

Sheboygan South High School teachers Sue Dennis, Donna Donoval, Kevin Heling and Paul Wagner read the following announcement to students and staff on Wednesday, March 3, the day that was designated nationally by Special Olympics as Say No the "R-Word" Day.

"Words have great power. We are all familiar with derogatory words that we as a society have tried to limit. Some we do not even repeat when teaching about the power of words. For example, how many times have you heard others refer to the ignorance of the n-word?

Well, there is another word that many still unfortunately think is OK to say. It's the r-word, saying someone is a retard or is retarded. When those with intellectual disabilities and their loved ones hear this they often feel less valued members of our society of our human race.

It's time to respect and value all.

Today is the R-Word Pledge Drive. If you visit South's website for the link or visit, you can join over 61,000 others and pledge your support to eliminate the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of all of us."

Throughout the day, students and staff stopped in the IMC Center to either sign the banner or pledge their support online. South parents signed the banner during parent conferences on Thursday, March 4. The banner was displayed until Friday March 12.

Photo Caption 1: South High students Jade Arens (left) and Calli Sladich (right) pledged their support
online to eliminate the demeaning use of the r-word on March 3rd. Students and staff throughout the entire
building quietly pledged their support to this cause.

Photo Caption 2: South High Seniors Libby Jacobs (left) and Kaylee Thielke (right) were the first to step
up and sign the banner "Say No to the ‘R' Word" after hearing the morning announcements at South High
on March 3rd. This special day, sponsored by Special Olympics is a day to spread the word to end the use
of the r-word.

Photo Caption 3: South High staff members proudly display their "Spread the Word to End the Word"
t-shirts on March 3rd. Front Row: Ann DePagter, Donna Donoval, Kay Robbins, Sue Dennis.
Back Row: Paul Wagner, Heather Pauly, Lynn Roenitz, Kevin Heling.
Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
March 25, 2010