It's known as the "R" word and there is a national campaign to stop people from using it. And the idea started right here in our area by Notre Dame senior, Soeren Palumbo.
He helped start the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign. And in just a few years, it's spread from Notre Dame to thousands of schools across the country.
It's a personal issue for Palumbo. His sister has intellectual disabilities. So he and a student from Yale University started the campaign. In an effort to make people think before they speak.
"If we can get people to become aware of that and to modify their language and to modify the way they treat people with intellectual disabilities, we'll become closer to a point where people with all ability levels and all statuses can be recognized for the value that they bring," said Palumbo.
Thursday, students at Goshen High School made a pledge to stop saying what many feel is a hurtful word. Many students signed a banner promising to never use the word in a hurtful way. And to think more about the people it may affect.
"A lot of times it's used as joke,” said Jen Kalb, a mild disability teacher at Goshen High School. “They'll say that's retarded or quit acting retarded. It's just been used that way for so long that people don't necessarily think about it before they say it."
This is the third year for the campaign and it's gotten a lot of attention. Actor John C. McGinley from the show Scrubs is an active spokesperson. And nearly 180-thousand people have already made the pledge online not to say the R-word.
If you would like to sign the pledge, click here.