SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --It's one of the hottest issues on social media today -- the discussion of ending the use of the "R" word. In San Francisco Wednesday, a group of students in special education rallied at city hall to explain why it's not okay to use it.
Alec Acosta, 19, loves to share his dreams with anyone who will listen. "I want people to know that I want to be a movie actor someday when I grow up and become a true adult."
In the meantime, he attends Access SFUSD, a public school for students in special education ages 18 to 21. They learn skills to become independent.
"Our students want to be seen as people first, not being defined by their disabilities," said Heidi Seretan, a teacher at the school.
Students pledged to change the way people use the "R" word -- which over the years has turned into slang.
"My name is Benji and I pledge to teach people that the "R" word is unacceptable," said one student.
"When I hear people on the street, it's just people talking about how people are asking done," said another.
School board commissioner Rachel Norton came to the rally armed with alternative "R" words. "Rejoicing, resplendent -- that's a good one," said school board member Rachel Norton.
The highlight of the event was the song and dance number on the steps of city hall to prove that that anyone with intellectual disabilities can achieve a high quality of life.
If you go on social media, you'll find the hashtag: EndTheWord. The most popular "R" word in those who rallied Wednesday in San Francisco's vocabulary is "respect."