Monday, June 2, 2014

High Court Throws Out Term 'Mental Retardation'

The U.S. Supreme Court is often divided, but on one little-noticed point last week, it was unanimous: the term "mental retardation" is no longer appropriate to use. This may seem trivial and way too late. Mental health professionals and most of the rest of us long ago abandoned that phrase, which echoes insulting schoolyard epithets.
But at an institution whose decisions have broad impact, the court's action is a significant sign of society's progress toward treating each other with dignity.


  1. I really like that this has passed. When I was in middle school students from the Special Education class talked about how they felt when people said the word "retarded" in an assembly. I had never used that word much before, but after they talked about that, I became more consciously aware of how my language could make someone feel. I agree that this step shows that members of society are treating each other with more dignity.
    Claudia Rosenburg |

    1. You're not alone. Many people working in the field today were in middle school with other students with special needs in their classrooms. They are definitely more sensitive to the needs of all people and are more accepting of different abilities.