Here is what famous athlete Kasey Studdard has to say about being in Special Education for Learning Disabilities as a child:
“I was teased, ridiculed, and isolated.”
“It wasn’t for a lack of intelligence, but I simply couldn’t comprehend things in the same ways the other kids did.”
“Though I often nodded my head to signal that I understood, I did not.”
“Kids can be very mean…” ““Ha-ha, you’re in the RETARD class now!,” they mocked. “Kasey’s so stupid, they had to kick him out of our class,” they teased.”
“In my early teens, to my surprise, I found that I could do things on the court and on the field that other kids could not. Sports became my salvation.”
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t live solely on sports fields. That meant years and years of remedial coursework, time spent before and after school, and countless late nights just to keep up. My mother always made sure the work got done — and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
“it wasn’t the hard work that impacted me most growing up. It was the other students, my special education classmates — the ones with severe mental and physical disabilities who had it far worse than I did — who taught me more about life than any lesson plan ever could. For them, the struggle wasn’t just about self-esteem or fitting in or being “normal,” it was about survival itself.”
“That’s why I have always stood up for the less-fortunate.”
“Whenever I saw a disabled or disadvantaged child at one of our training camps, I would always take time to greet them with a smile and a hug, and to ask how they were doing .”
“I was one of the lucky ones — with sports providing salvation just in time — but everyone deserves an opportunity to shine.”
Here is a video showing how the R-word (“retarded”) can be as offensive as any other insult against minorities.
You can take the pledge to stop using this mean word!