RANDOLPH, N.J. (CBS 2) — If you stutter, federal law prohibits anyone from discriminating against you on the job or in school. But a local college student who stutters says he was told not to speak in his class because of his disability.
Philip Garber Jr., who has been taking classes at the County College of Morris in New Jersey, said the incident made him feel like “stuttering is something to laugh at and that it’s not something to take seriously.”
The outspoken 16-year-old, who stutters, has been taking the classes to overcome his disability. He said an adjunct professor in a history course told him not to ask questions during class so as not to disrupt the other students, CBS 2′s Christine Sloan reported.
“The first feeling was just shock,” said Garber, who is an aspiring photojournalist.
Garber said he was even more shocked when the adjunct professor told him to write out the questions before and after class. That’s when the college administration got involved and moved him to an identical course, where he felt more comfortable.
“He was in fact discriminated against in this class — that is other students were not asked to make the same accommodations,” College President Edward Yaw said. “So that is something we take seriously.”
Garber has struggled with stuttering all of his life and has been home-schooled and has gotten speech therapy.
“I have never experienced this level of discrimination,” he said.
CBS 2 was unable to get comment from the adjunct professor, but the majority of students who are not in the class are behind the 16-year-old.
“He paid tuition like everyone else did and it’s not fair that he’s not allowed to speak in class,” said student Henny Harmon.
The college wouldn’t say if any action was taken against the adjunct professor because officials said they don’t discuss personnel matters.
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