Michigan Wiping 'R-Word' From Its Laws
Bills will remove 'retarded' and related words from the books
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 9:15 AM CDT
In this July 19, 2013, file photo, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speaks during a news conference in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

(Newser) – A few choice words are likely to be excised from Michigan law today, as Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is set to sign what is known as the "R-Word" package of bills into state law. The package—which contains eight House bills and seven Senate bills passed unanimously last Thursday, the Detroit Free Press earlier reported—will replace words like "retarded" and "mental retardation" with "developmental disability." Those soon-to-be-wiped words appear 15 times in Michigan laws on everything from mental health to education, CBS Detroit reports.

Special Olympics Michigan reps praised the bills, noting "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" were removed from federal policy in 2010, and, aside from Michigan, there are only five states that haven't yet addressed the terms. "This is a historic day for Michigan," the organization's president said. "With the signing of these bills, those with developmental disabilities now have a new 'R-Word': respect." A Spread the Word to End the Word anti-bullying campaign is expected to follow at area schools.

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Showing 3 of 155 comments
Apr 4, 2014 11:38 AM CDT
Considering that the definition of the word has more than one meaning attributed to mental disability its pretty clear these republicans like most others are too ignorant to know just how much they don't know. I guess they never thought to retard this process until they understood all the ramifications of its implementation.
Mar 30, 2014 3:09 PM CDT
Since they banned the word 'Retarded', now what are we supposed to call a members of the Michigan state legislature ? I think they banned the word because they were tired of it being use on them. What a waste of time and MI taxpayer resources.
Mar 29, 2014 10:02 PM CDT
"Did I say 'historic'? I meant to say 'histrionic'.