Toronto school board discriminating against stuttering parents?

York University professor and parent Thomas Klassen is seen Thursday February 20, 2014. (Dave...

York University professor and parent Thomas Klassen is seen Thursday February 20, 2014. (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun)

Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

Thomas Klassen is a successful York University professor of political science who lectures hundreds of students.

But when it comes to using the telephone, his lifelong stutter comes to the fore.

“When I can see the people, it’s so much easier,” he explains over the phone, his stutter much in evidence because we are not meeting eye-to-eye.

“If I do stutter, they can see, ‘Oh, Prof. Klassen is trying to say something’ and they’ll just wait. If I pick up the phone and nothing comes out, people will hang up.”

When his twins entered kindergarten in 2010, he asked their principal if he could communicate with their teachers via e-mail rather than by telephone. “I’ve stuttered all my life and have had considerable speech therapy, including a six-week intensive residential program in the U.S. as a teenager,” Klassen explains. “Using the phone, some days it goes really well, some days I can’t even do it all. I thought e-mail would be as easy and as efficient.”

 


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