Program starting at Clinton High School
COLUMBUS COPELAND COMING TO CLINTON, SC, WITH UPDATE
Motivational Speaker Columbus Copeland is coming to Clinton. He will begin his training of Purposely Pursuing Your Passion” at noon, Jan. 16, with groups of 30 at Clinton High School.
Anyone with questions can contact Principal Maureen Tiller, 833-0831.
Copeland stated, “This a dream that has come true for me, thanks to Mrs. Tiller for making my dream into fruition. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to every major city throughout this entire country, with the exception of Los Angeles. But thanks to Dr. Wendell Glenn, I will speak at his Annual Black History Program on the third weekend in February, every single time I board a plane somewhere, I have to pinch myself. To see if the life I’m living is real.
“As a child growing up Clinton, South Carolina, I had a speech impediment. A severe stuttering problem, just to complete a sentence without stuttering, was extremely difficult for me.
“Just reflecting on the first grade, I didn’t realize Mrs. Bailey my first grade teacher, required her students to stand and say their names, along with saying something about themselves. I was so nervous because I didn’t want to stutter, that when I finally got my name out of my mouth - which seemed like an eternity, my classmates laughed and that day I made a decision that I would never say anything again. So whenever my teachers called upon me to say something, I always said my head was hurting, or my stomach was hurting, if that didn’t work I would do something to get kicked out of class.
“Think about that for a moment, I would rather get kicked out of class than to say something.
“But here’s what is so sad, 70 percent of the time, I knew the answers to the questions! So for 12 consecutive years, I spent hoping, wishing and praying my teachers didn’t call my name - no wonder I only scored 475 on the SAT Test, no wonder I had poor grades! I always tell both Parents and Teachers during my Bullying Prevention Training, titled ‘What’s So Funny About Teasing?’ there’s a reason why children don’t want to participate in class activities. Some children are in the seventh grade, but they’re reading on a third grade level.
Copeland said he “experienced a tremendous amount of teasing from 1970 to 1975 regarding my stuttering condition. Sadly, both of my parents died and went to their graves not knowing the hell I endured.”
He said, “The primary reason why children don’t tell is because of fear, but I thank God for my Grandmother Lucille Copeland, who was a Pentecostal Preacher. My Grandmother use to anoint my head with oil for five consecutive years, along with saying, someday you’re going to be somebody. While Grandmother was speaking life into my soul, I was saying to myself, ‘What’s Grandmother is talking about, doesn’t she realize the children are picking on me about my stuttering condition?’ It didn’t matter to my grandmother, she continue to anoint my head with oil, saying the same thing, for five consecutive years, ‘Someday you’re going to be somebody.’
“Just to give you an indication how my grades suffered, primarily due to my stuttering condition - this is the first time I shared this story publicly - I received a full basketball scholarship to attend Emmanuel Jr. College, on May 30, 1979; but on May 31, 1979, I was facing a major hurdle - I had a scholarship in one hand in the other hand I was one unit shy from graduating from high school. To say I was devastated is an understatement, I was beyond devastated. Not only was I devastated, but I was also embarrassed, but despite being devastated and embarrassed, I never was hard on myself and in order for me to graduate, I had to pass an algebra test.
“Oh and, by the way, I had a D in algebra, and I had exactly one week to prepare for my test. But, here’s what is so nerve-wracking about the entire week, I was scheduled to take my algebra test on Thursday, June the 7. But I had to wait until June 8, which was the night of graduation, to find out whether I passed my test or not. Even though it’s been 39 years ago, I still remember everything that took place that entire week.
“I thank God for my algebra teacher, Mrs. Linda Mills. She tutored me on Monday and Tuesday for two hours, and Wednesday the day before I took my algebra test. She tutored for three hours! We need more teachers like Mrs. Linda Mills.
“I was so nervous the night of graduation, when I saw there wasn’t an asterisk by the name Columbus Lee Copeland, which indicated you didn’t graduate, I wanted to shout all over Belk Auditorium. We need to do more in regards to children who bully and tease other children. Somehow, we must do everything humanely possible to eradicate this age old problem. I’ve known bullying and teasing. Because of those children laughing at me, I allowed them to rob me of 25 years of my life. I can’t get those years back! As a 10-year-old child, sometimes I often cried, until I cried myself, to sleep, wondering why I’m not able to talk like the other children. But 47 years later, I understand it a little bit better now.
“You see, I had to not only go through it but to grow through it, so I can equip other children with the skills and techniques to combat bullying and teasing, every single time I present. When I teach my bullying prevention titled, ‘What’s so funny about teasing?’ my soul gets happy!
Just thinking about Mrs. Maureen Tiller, who’s the principal of Clinton High School, you may not agree with all she’s doing at Clinton High, but it’s time to lay aside our differences and join with her to fight to save our students. She has an awesome task with leading your children.
“So the next time that you think about criticizing her for the work she’s doing with leading our children, ask yourself - what am I doing to help her make a difference?,” Copeland said. “With our children, and you must be honest, with yourself, ask, ‘Have I done everything possible to make a difference in the lives of our children?’
“I’m asking the entire Clinton Community to be present on Jan 16, 2018 – to come whether you have children that attend District 56 or not. I’m having a parent session, at 6 p.m. Please join me in making a difference in our children’s lives!”