Letter to the Editor

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Letter to the editor: Injured SP teacher learns from students’ outpouring of love

I would like to thank the parents of Panola County for rearing such fine children. Although I only have a small sample in mind with which to make such a sweeping statement, if the group of teenagers I taught this past year is any indication of the group as a whole, then I stand by what I’ve said.

Parents, give yourself a much deserved pat on the back. I was in an accident that, among other injuries, severed my spine in two places as well as all my para-spinal muscles. Amazingly, and delivered by the fervent prayers of many, I lived, and I can walk.

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While in the Med recovering from surgery, Mr. Quong came to visit and brought pages upon pages of letters, cards, drawings and gifts. They were filled with the words and prayers of your children. There was a poster big enough to cover half a hospital-room wall signed by many, possibly all of my students and some of Mr. Quong’s. The outpouring of love and realization of the sheer volume of prayer that had been sent up on my behalf was staggering. It was excellent therapy for the dark thoughts that had begun to pervade my mind and judgment.

It was more than I expected. It was far more than I deserved. The thing is, they weren’t through. Earlier in the year I had my iPod stolen from my room. My students gave money from their own pockets, nearly enough to completely replace the stolen item as a get-well gift. iPods are not cheap and I cannot say how much this meant to me. It is too much.

I call myself a teacher, but mostly I learn more from my students than I can ever hope to impart in return. They taught me much in regard to faith, hope and charity. I wish time and space permitted me to list their names so all may know who they are specifically.

I can never repay the kindnesses, the invaluable prayers and general well-wishing shown to me by my students. It’s no wonder, really. The day after my surgery Dr. Schaffer was in my hospital room checking on me. With that kind of leader, not only in the school, but also in the community, we should expect good things from the younger generation. I do want the parents to know they have wonderful children, whoever is to blame. They have bright, loving hearts. May they never be stifled. I want my students to know that I appreciate all they have done for me. I love each and every one of you.

And, I want whoever stole my iPod to know that I forgive you. It’s yours. Hope you like Bob Dylan and Waylon Jennings.

G. C. Trout IV