When Trevor Dunning first entered the Trinity Christian School speech class, he was personally greeted, as each student was, and a few words of welcome were exchanged. He stood out with his solid physique, and soft intense face. However, the moment he spoke, his struggles became obvious.
While talking, he would suddenly push out a breathy deep, “UHH…UHH,” which came every three of four words. It was a severe stutter problem. He had enrolled in my speech class to hopefully be able to speak better. As he spoke to me a couple of kids in line elbowed each other in the side while softly giggling. When the classes started they began to laugh at him as he tried to express himself.
The students jumped as my fist slammed down hard on the desk. “First of all, you are all supposed to be Christian kids. Is laughing and mocking someone who has difficulty a proper model of Jesus you are all supposed to emulate? I am ashamed of all of you!”
This was the first day of the semester. The students suddenly became silent and attentive. “First of all, don’t you EVER mock or laugh at someone who has a handicap of ANY kind, or ANYONE who is differant. As a Christian you are supposed to encourage everyone you meet, especially those with difficulties. You are to respect EVERYBODY. Is that clear?” They all soberly nodded their heads.
Then I added, “Trevor shows more courage than ANY of you. Knowing his problem was abnormal he was determined to enroll in this class, in an effort to conquer his speech defect and to eventually stand up and give a speech. All of you can learn a lot from this very brave young man. Now don’t forget for one moment what I have just said.”
Things went well from that point.
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