Last Saturday, Edison High School junior Megan Chaplin and around 70 other people walked in Franconia and Rose Hill to raise awareness about the misuse of what they call "The R Word" — casually calling things or people a "retard" or "retarded."
The R-Word Walk was part of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign, which raises awareness about the negative effects of using "retard" as an insult. As part of the campaign, students are asked to take a pledge to stop using the word "retard."
Participants in the event walked on Franconia Road and Rose Hill Drive. Chaplin has been getting positive reactions from the walk.
"I've been hearing great things," she said. Drivers passing the demonstration stopped and asked for more information.
The walk was sponsored by Girl Scout Troop 933 and Edison's Best Buddies club, which promotes friendships between Edison students and people with developmental disabilities.
Chaplin said her interest in the issue grew from her relationship with her cousin, who had Down's syndrome.
"We can't be using words to describe them in a negative context all the time," Chaplin said.