The following is a Press Release from Sen. Ed Meyer's office:
GUILFORD, CT – Calling the occasion a touching display of maturity and compassion, Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) joined with Representative Patricia Widlitz (D-Guilford) in signing onto the “End the R-Word” campaign being organized by Guilford High School students. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed).” Students at schools across the country have taken part in End the R-Word campaigns, which are organized by Special Olympics and Best Buddies International. Guilford’s campaign kicked off today, and will run through the end of the week. The Guilford campaign is led by students as well as Kim Beckett and Jaye Carlson, the mothers of two intellectually disabled students at Guilford High School.
“Campaigns such as this highlight the strength of character that make Guilford such a great community,” said Senator Meyer. “It is touching to see the maturity and compassion displayed by the young men and women signing this pledge. I commend Kim Beckett and Jaye Carlson for their initiative in this regard”
This is the second year in a row that Guilford students have participated in End the R-Word. Last year’s petition received support from Project Unity (Special Olympics), Guilford Fund for Education, Guilford Foundation, and CT Down Syndrome Congress. The success of that campaign resulted in Guilford High School winning the coveted Unified Sports Michael’s Cup award. Organizers hope that this year’s campaign can be even more successful.
“I enthusiastically support the actions of these young adults, who are trying to promote respect not only in their school but also throughout our community,” Rep. Widlitz said. “Their campaign strengthens unity, sensitivity and awareness for our entire town and I wish all the best for them.”
End the R-Word is a national campaign and invites the support of anyone interested in signing the pledge. Anyone interested in adding their support can attend a live campaign, or sign the pledge atwww.r-word.org. Everyone who signs the pledge is given a wristband with the message “Spread the Word to End the Word.” Campaign organizers are also selling t-shirts designed by Guilford High School students and reusable water bottles that promote the message. All proceeds go toward sustaining future End the R-Word campaigns.