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Taking a stand against hurtful words

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Students in the some Rutherford County Schools system participated in the annual Spread the Word Inclusion global engagement campaign on Wednesday as they took a stand against discriminatory words and actions. The global campaign is an opportunity to create a more inclusive world, said Special Olympics Coordinator Allison Dorsey Kennedy.

Spread the Word Inclusion works to create a more accepting world by working to integrate individuals with intellectual disabilities into realms of society from which they have been excluded.

Students signing the pledges are saying they will fight for equality, acceptance, and respect by treating all with the dignity they deserve. Those with intellectual disabilities have grown familiar with a feeling of isolation as a result of exclusivity in society. A lack of inclusion has become a hurtful norm for millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and their friends, say promoters of Spread the Word.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have had to overcome challenges arising from societal stereotypes for too long.

Special Olympics Rutherford County athletes accomplish great things, are members of Rutherford County communities and deserve the same respect and dignity that everyone expects from others, Kennedy said.

She is also is encouraging leaders in Rutherford County to bring about a much needed change that will bring acceptance and inclusion to all in the community.

Pledge cards were provided to school students Wednesday.

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