Bill That Would Remove "Retarded" From Florida Law Passes State Senate

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

The only time you hear the word "Retard" anymore is on middle-school playgrounds, bro-centric Internet message boards and, apparently, if you overheard someone reading Florida's state statutes. Phrases like "mental retardation," "mental retard" and "retard" are used frequently in numerous state laws despite the fact the phrase is considered outdated and, in many cases, offensive.

So, the state Senate today passed a bill that would remove the phrase and replace it with "intellectually disabled."

The bill passed 32-0. Imagine that? The entire Senate agreeing on something. No Republican even used the opportunity to rail against political correctness.

But don't be too proud of Florida. We're actually late in the game to making such a change.

A total of 43 states have already passed laws replacing the term in their laws. In 2010, President Obama signed a law removing it from federal law.

A companion bill in the House has passed through several committees unanimously and is scheduled to come up before the full House.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.