This story was sent by a fifth grader named James. His story and some of the answers he got are below:

I was in 5th grade at Quail Valley Elementary (QVE). Our class was writing reports on animals. I was a stutterer, and had been since I was 3 or 4 years old. I had picked "Sharks" to report on. I knew I would have to read my paper aloud to the class when I turned the paper in to my teacher, Ms. R. Knowing that, I tried to make my paper as short as possible. Ms. R was a new teacher at QVE. Our principal was disabled, and couldn't walk, but she had no problem getting to each new teacher's class and checking on the teacher. The principal would roll around to each class with one of the school's new teachers and just sit there on her wheels and watch the class. I had finished my Sharks report and we were sharing our reports. When it comes to my turn, I get up in front of the class, smack on my charm smile, and begin stuttering. Our principal rolls in and starts watching me. I can tell she is about to throw up from watching me stomp my feet and roll my head. Poor Ms. R. What will the Principal think of her now? One of her students can't even read. Unfortunately, my teacher didn't let me sit down. I had to sit there for 30 minutes and [try to] read my paper. I think finally she let me stop. The entire class was probably swimming in my tears by then. That was the most embarassing moment of my life thus far.

Dear James,

My name is Jim and I stutter too. If I were you I would not have stood up in the front of the class to do a report. I would do it only if I had to. Did you have to? If I were you I would have asked to do something else. Like ask to pass on me if I could not get it out of me. Or would ask to do another project . Also maybe you would feel better if you were talking in a small group of kids than a whole class. So next time try to involve the teacher to brake down into groups. And if she did not know about stuttering you could inform her. And if you could not explain the situation you could ask a speech teacher to help.

Jim (11/1/99)

Dear Jim,

I am sorry that you were stuttering in front of the class. When you have some time, then go to a speech teacher, just like I do when I stutter.

I hope you get better and I hope that when you are a grown up you will not stutter. when I was in pre-k I was talking just like you. Now I am in second grade, and I've gotten a lot better. I practiced a lot, and went to speech teachers.

A Friend (February 06, 2000)

Now I have presented a lot and I still struggle with my speech problem. You could think that there is no one there around you or you could pretend that you are talking to a friend. I know that teachers force some kids to talk or to present to the class even if the person does stutter and they will take for hours to finsh. Well, tell you what, if that happens don't argue cause that never works, go to your stuttering therapy and tell her or him and then they will talk to the teacher that is making you present. If that doesn't work then just present and try your hardest. that's about it.

Kevin, age 13 years (January 09, 2001)

This student could go to his speech teacher and ask her to talk to the teacher and the principal about his stuttering. My speech teacher is helping me type this answer. She thinks talking to important adults in my school about my stuttering is an important part of her job.

Michael, age 11 (January 09, 2001)

I would ask permission to leave the room and call my mom.

Meredyth (2/6/01)

Study your speech therapy.So if someone comes up and asks you how to stutter you'll know what to say.And you could also tell them how to avoid it.So if you're up infront of the class giving a report and you stutterd think about what you learned.

Ashley, age 10 (2/21/01)

He should have stopped saying anything and thought about what he was going to say.If that did not work than he should have used cancellations.

Ben, age 9 1/2 (April 02, 2001)