A woman from Mansfield, Ohio, may have given the most powerful speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Wednesday. She wasn’t a congresswoman, a governor, or a second lady. She was a mother — a mother who decided to give her disabled son life, a good education, and an opportunity to speak at the White House.
Tera Myers spoke about school choice, but her story began before her son was even born.
“Before Samuel was even born I was told his life wouldn’t be worth living,” Myers said. “When early tests revealed he had Down Syndrome, our doctor encouraged me to terminate the pregnancy. He said ‘If you do not, you will be burdening your life, family and your community.’”
Yet Myers was not going to snuff out the life of her son.
“I knew my baby was a human being created by God and that made him worthy of life. I am thankful that President Trump values the life of the unborn,” she said.
Myers did not just struggle to convince the doctors not to kill Samuel in the womb, but she also had to fight for teachers to think it wasn’t a waste to give her son a good education.
“When we went to register Samuel for kindergarten we were told to just ‘put him where he would be comfortable, don’t stress him out by trying to teach him.’ When we pushed for him to attend his neighborhood school with his sisters, we were told to ‘just go home and let us do what we do.’ When I inquired about functional learning I was told ‘this is all you get, like it or not,’” the mother recalled.
“I did not like it. One size did not fit all.”
“So I helped fight to pass legislation in Ohio for a special needs scholarship, so that all students could choose the right program for their needs,” Myers said. “I worked to start a new functional learning program at our local private school. Finally, Samuel had an appropriate place to learn.”
President Donald Trump invited Samuel to speak at the White House on school choice. He said, “School Choice helped my dreams come true. My school taught me the way I learn best and I was able to fit in. I made many friends and became a part of my community. My teachers helped me become the best I can be.”
The proud mama recounted what happened next. “President Trump shook my hand and said, ‘Wonderful job Mom, your son is amazing.’ Unlike the doctor who told me to end Samuel’s life before it even began, President Trump did not dismiss my son, he showed Samuel he valued him and was proud of what he accomplished.”
“President Trump gave Samuel an equal seat at the table,” Myers repeated, for emphasis.
“Tonight, I would like to extend my thanks to President Trump and his administration for their work towards making every student’s dream of a meaningful education a reality, and for fighting to ensure every child in America has an equal seat at the table of Education Freedom, and an equal opportunity in life,” she concluded.
Wednesday night was a celebration of America’s heroes. Tera Myers and her son Samuel are heroes.
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 27, 2020
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.