Spread the Word to End the Word


Abigail Kann

Many State High students signed the “Spread the Word Inclusion” poster during school. “We had the poster for people to sign showing that they believe in inclusion and that they will do something to promote [inclusion] in the school environment,” Mrs. Percival said.

Abigail Kann, Staff Writer

The State College high school’s Unified Bocce team sold bracelets during lunches to raise awareness about certain words that people shouldn’t use, specifically the ‘r’ word. The bracelets were $1 and said: “SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD,” a campaign started by the Special Olympics. 

“People might think, ‘well I don’t mean it derogatory towards students with special needs,’ but it’s still a hurtful word,” Mr. Schunk said. 

Unified Bocce is a PIAA sanctioned sport where students from all different levels can compete with and against each other.

“The Unified Bocce team is a combination of people who are Special Olympics eligible, so have some sort of intellectual disability, and general education students, and they train and compete together as a unified team,” head coach Mrs. Percival said. 

“We have students who have special needs and partners that help them out as needed, and really once we get on the court sometimes it’s hard to tell the athlete from the partner,” assistant coach Mr. Schunk said. 

Many State High students have signed a poster pledging inclusion within the school. “We also had the poster for people to sign showing that they believe in inclusion and that they will do something to promote that in the school environment,” Mrs. Percival said. 

Being part of the unified bocce team is a rewarding experience for both head coach Mrs. Percival and assistant coach Mr. Schunk. “It’s been a great experience to be around those students because they really bring a lot of perspective,” Mr. Schunk said.

“It’s so great to see the students forming relationships with people they may not have gotten the opportunity to,” Mrs. Percival said. “For them to be able to represent their school in a sport is pretty exciting and they might not have had that opportunity either. I think it gives everybody a chance to interact despite if they have a disability or not.”

The poster signed by State High students signifies that the school community pledges to spread inclusion and continue to make a welcoming environment within the school.