EDITOR'S INK - The News Eagle has been made aware that an abbreviation of "Special Education" used in a headline the April 13th edition has been taken with offense by various parents.
An abbreviation was made because the story, on page one, was running in one column and words "special education" could not fit without being too small. As a result, the term "sped" was used, not realizing that the abbreviation is taken with offense in some circles.
Definitions of "sped" include one who attends special education classes, as well the special education program. A "Google" search finds that universities use the term to describe their curriculum programs. These include the College of Education, University of Missouri and the University of Illinois. The web address for the Council for Exceptional Children is "sped.org."
Their mission statement notes they are the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.
Nevertheless, in this whacky world, a word or abbreviation has once again been turned around by people who are insensitive and use it to deride someone else.
Please be advised that The News Eagle never meant any harm and would never have used the abbreviation if the derogatory sense was realized. This newspaper stands by our special education students and their families, as well as the wonderful work being done by our local school districts and other agencies. We applaud their sensitive and caring attitudes.
We apologize for any offense this abbreviation caused. Once more, we add another term to the growing dictionary of politically incorrect words that we will certainly avoid in the future.