How do you think it would feel if you were publically discriminated? If someone jokingly made a derogatory gesture or remark that is discriminating who you are. Whether it be your race, economic income, what clothes you wear, or possibly your mental disability or sex preference.
The words “retarded” and “gay” are terms that are used in society’s everyday language by people who don’t understand the effects of using them, and how offensive they are.
Senior Brian Weaver expresses his thought on the topic, “I feel like a lot of the time when people say things they don’t necessarily intend for them to be offensive, but they also don’t think about how it can affect people.”
To a person who has a personal connection with someone who is gay or mentally retarded usually find these words very offensive. Sophomore Sarah Bernhardt whose younger brother is mentally retarded says, “[people] don’t realize that there is nothing wrong with people who actually are mentally retarded or gay.”
Sociology teacher Mrs. Rourbaugh describes these words are used, “...too casually and often in a derogatory sense.”
English teacher Rebekah Thiegs voices her opinion on how she feels hearing these two words used in society’s language, “I think that a lot of times students use the words but they don’t really think about what they mean and they don’t really care if they are hurting other people when they are using those kinds of words.”
The terms “gay” and “retarded” are used completely out of context in most people’s everyday language. “[gay and retarded] are totally used incorrectly, especially the word gay,” Rourbaugh said.
“..it makes them [people who use these words out of context] sound more uneducated then they are,” Assistant Principal Brian Raab says.
Words are powerful. Although they may not seem offensive to you, the respectful thing to do is consider the feelings of those who may know someone, or are personally feeling victimized by derogatory words.