Jane Lynch of Fox’s “Glee” is speaking out against use of the word “retard” in a hard-hitting public service announcement that’s airing on broadcast networks and cable channels nationally.

The 30-second PSA produced by the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign from Special Olympics and Best Buddies compares the words “retard” and “retarded” to other derogatory terms like “nigger” and “fag.”

In the spot, Lynch appears beside her “Glee” co-star Lauren Potter, who has Down syndrome and plays the role of Becky Jackson on the show, to explain that using the r-word is not acceptable.

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“The r-word is the same as every minority slur. Treat it that way and don’t use it,” says Lynch, who plays cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on “Glee.”

Organizers of the Spread the Word campaign say they have commitments from Fox, CBS, MTV, USA Network, Oxygen, TNT, TBS, CNN and other channels to air the PSA.

Since the spot includes some explicit language, it will only be broadcast after 9 p.m. and during shows with a rating of TV-14 or higher.

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