Students at two Knox County schools showed their support for a campaign to end the use of a derogatory term on Thursday.

Students at Powell high and middle schools walked down Emory Road to show their support for the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.

It seeks to end the use of the "R-word." The word started as a medical description to describe intellectual disabilities, but it's now used in a negative way.

Organizers encourage everyone to use respectful, people-first language instead.

"Basically we're just here to say, 'Hey, before you use this word, think about it. Think about how it's going to impact another person, or the parents of a child with an intellectual disability, or a sibling, and find a different word. Find a better, more appropriate word," said Kelly Johnson,executive director of Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee.

The national Spread the Word to End the Word campaign was started in 2009 by two college students.

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