DENVER -- A high school senior's idea to help rid the world of slurs and other hurtful words came to fruition Friday, as she and her classmates at the Denver Center for International Studies held a mock funeral.
The funeral featured the burial of a mock casket, filled with words that students say have caused them pain in the past.
"I started this project because I knew this word needs to die and I would be the one to lay it to rest," said Ashley Annan. "This word is wrong and should never be used because it makes one group of people lesser than another, and no one is better than anyone else."
The idea for the project came from her older sister, who never had the chance to hold the burial when she was senior at the school.
Years later, Annan impressed her teacher, Kevin Adams, by planning the burial.
"When Ashley came to me with this idea, I was so blown away," Adams said. "I feel like we're at a point where it would be a great thing if we could bury the word, and we did."
Annan said her first experience with the word came when she was young.
"I was called this abominable word for the first time," she said. "I had never felt so dehumanized in my whole life, which was only 5 years at the time."
Years later, Annan said she's happy to have had so much support with the project.
"They don't have to just remember that a word was buried because a word is nothing without power, but people give words power," Annan said. "I want people to use their power for something better.
"Good riddance. I will not miss it, and I am so happy right now I can't even stand it," she added.