Interview With Caroline

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Bubbly speech and school

From: Liv Marit Dalen
Date: 10/9/02
Time: 4:48:11 AM
Remote Name:


Caroline, congratulations on dealing so well with teasing and your bubbly speech (I love that term!).

I am a teacher who lives and works in Norway. (You may try to find it on the map. It is far away from the US.) My husband Paul, who is an American, stutters. He was teased a lot in school. Sometimes other children would come and ask him to say something just to hear how "funny" he talked. What happened then was that when he did respond he was usually fluent, and the bullies then didn't get their fun.

But can you guess who was the causing him the most problems? That was his teacher in kindergarten. Although Paul could read when he was three and play the piano and compose music when he was five, this teacher told his mother that he was a child that was impossible to teach anything, because he was "the most feeble-minded child she had ever met." So, when he started in the first grade he was placed in a group with children with learning difficulties. Fortunately his new teacher discovered after a couple of months that he could read, and things got better.

I do hope that you have teachers that understand and can help you to feel good about yourself and also handle the teasing.

In my country the prime minister has just signed a paper that says that within two years all teasing or bullying should be abolished in schools. It will be difficult, but we'll have to try. I think it is important for all schools to teach all children how to be nice to each other and accept and respect that people are different. If everyone was exactly the same the world would be a very boring place.

Last changed: September 12, 2005