Education

School Official Apologizes For Referring To Herself As ‘Retarded,’ But That’s Not Enough For Parents

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A Maryland school official apologized Tuesday for referring to herself as “retarded” at a July meeting, but that wasn’t enough for her colleagues and students’ parents.

Judy Docca, vice president of the Montgomery, Md. school board, apologized for using the term, explaining that she used it because she “forget[s] everything,” reported The Washington Post.

“It made me look really, mmm, retarded,” Docca said at the July meeting, referring to a student board member she was inducting and who she claimed had sharp analytical skills and asked the right questions. “But anyway, I really appreciate your intellect, and I think that you’re going to be really a wonderful person working with this board.”

“I couldn’t believe my ears,” Lyda Astrove, a Maryland mother who has an autistic child, told WaPo. Astrove did not initially say anything about Docca’s use of the term in July, but decided to speak out when she discovered the school board member plans to run for another term in 2018.

“I have to apologize to my colleagues and to staff for using a term that I should not have used in July,” Docca told the school board Tuesday. “I referred to myself as being retarded because I forget everything….I really regret having done that, and there is no excuse for it. So, I just wanted you to know that I do apologize.”

“Over the years, the ‘R’ word, originally used as a clinical term, has become a form of derision, similar to ‘moron’ or ‘idiot,'” said Jeanne Taylor, a special education committee chair in Montgomery, in a Friday letter to the school board. “The term is so offensive that various public agencies — including those under the federal government — have stopped using it.”

Taylor echoed Astrove’s desire for an apology to children and added that she would like one for parents as well.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Docca and the school board for comment, but received none in time for press.

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