Opinion Your Views — 07 November 2013
Please don’t use hurtful labels

By Megan Milner, Alexandria
(Photo/Anna Harris)

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the October 24 edition of the Alexandria Times, which featured two front-page photos with the caption, “Helping Hands.”

I think it is important to feature people who give back to the community. In addition, what reader does not appreciate seeing photographs of children happy and excited?

However, the words describing the pictures did not need to include the word “at-risk” while referring to the preschoolers.

The term “at-risk” is extremely dated and, frankly, a further mechanism to marginalize people. Put yourself in the labeled individual’s shoes: How would you feel if the same label was applied to you?

I ask that, in future, the editorial staff of the Alexandria Times show more respect and care when identifying people within their stories and eschew words like at-risk, disadvantaged, underprivileged and needy. These are words I have seen in stories published in the Times in the last several years.

 

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