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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Cancels Class On How To Reduce Accents

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File photo of a classroom.  (Credit: Thinkstock)

File photo of a classroom. (Credit: Thinkstock)

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Some employees at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee complained about a class aimed at teaching them how to reduce their Southern accents. Now, managers are calling the whole thing off.

The course had been advertised as a way to feel confident in meetings, when one might need to speak with a more neutral accent. The class was touted as a way to “be remembered for what you say and not how you say it.”

The six-week course was to be taught by Lisa Scott, “a nationally certified speechpatholigst and accent reduction trainer.”

Carolyn Ward of ORNL’s Learning and Development Services told the Knoxville News Sentinel that an employee requested the class, so it was offered for others too.

ORNL spokesman David Keim said the class “probably wasn’t presented in the right way” and managers decided to cancel it after other employees complained.

“We’ve offered accent reduction training to foreign nationals for years,” Keim said. “But this one obviously surprised some folks.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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