Methuen Best Buddies to stop use of R-word - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Methuen Best Buddies to stop use of R-word

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METHUEN, Mass. (WHDH) - Members of the Best Buddies chapter at Methuen High School are doing their part to help people with intellectual disabilities by educating classmates.

They created a video to spread a message to stop the use of a harmful word that has no place in any conversation.

"A lot of people throw around the R-word like it's nothing, but the truth is it's offensive and derogatory," said one student in the video "Spread the Word to End the Word."

"It was a pleasant surprise that people do realize what they are saying and, like, even if they didn't now they do and it has a positive outcome even bigger than I expected," said Chapter President Lauren Arsenault.

It was important for members to not only end the use of the word but also let people know how it makes them feel when they hear it.

"I said that it makes me feel sad and it makes me feel unwanted," said Madeline Hurst, a buddy advisor.

Arsenault considers this more than a club. It's a part of her life and the friendships are real.

"I love to make them smile and I hate when people make fun of them," Arsenault said.

The Best Buddies program, which pairs students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in friendships with other high school students, has been growing rapidly since 1989. The chapter at Methuen High School is 60 students strong and growing.

"After being in this club, I see everybody in the hallways I walk through and it's like oh, I know you I can talk to you, this is a new friend that I just made and its cool cause we are buddies," said one member.

Adam Williams and Kayna Whitworth are riding in the Best Buddies Challenge, which is on Saturday and goes from Boston to Hyannis Port. You can donate to Kayna's or Adam's fundraising pages.

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