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Opinion

Readers React: Why can’t we use the word ‘retarded’? Because of people like Tom Segura

Caucasian mother holding baby girl with Down Syndrome--User Upload Caption: About 6,000 U.S. childre
A woman holds a baby with Down Syndrome.
(Getty Images / Blend Images RM)

To the editor: Regarding insult comic Tom Segura’s joke about using the R-word, the proper designation is intellectual disability.

When I started teaching 38 years ago in the Los Angeles Unified School District, people said “mentally retarded.” Those words describe the disability — slow in mental development — but people started using it to describe someone in a mean way. I never allowed the word to be used in my presence.

The district has many wonderful program like Community Based Instruction, Full Inclusion and allowing all students to have access to all that is available at our schools. Post-high school regional centers, jobs and skills programs and independent living programs have contributed to better quality of life for so many people with intellectual disabilities.

I believe in free speech, but let’s not give Segura a forum. I don’t think he is funny.

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Cleo Ingram, Los Angeles

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