Today's bad decision made by authority figures with no common sense is brought to you by the Nebraska public school forcing a 3-year-old deaf boy to change the way he signs his name because the "gesture resembles shooting a gun." Yes, that's right: Because Grand Island Public Schools' policy forbids the use of any "instrument" that "looks like a weapon," little Hunter Spanjer is being told to, effectively, change his name. Without sound, the only language Hunter knows is S.E.E. (Signing Exact English). The sign for his name is how this boy identifies himself. These people are going to mess with a 3-year-old special needs child's sense of self because he sort of looks like he's playing cops and robbers?!
Not if Hunter's family, the ACLU, or the National Organization for the Deaf have anything to do with it.
The ACLU sent a letter to the school district asking them to reconsider their policy, while the CEO of the National Organization for the Deaf has promised legal assistance to Hunter's family if it becomes a necessity. Meanwhile, I'm blown away by Hunter's dad. Brian Spanjer has showed considerable restraint with his tactful expression of disapproval: "I feel like it was an overreach on their part and I expected a lot better from the local school district."
As a parent, I'm pretty sure my reaction would've been more along the lines of: "You want an obscene gesture?! I'll give you an obscene gesture!"
I'm fairly confident that the school will buckle under all of the aforementioned pressure, which is only mounting as more and more people hear about Hunter's story (there's a Facebook page devoted to his cause), but it still makes me absolutely sick that we live in such an insensitive, clueless society. Saddest of all, I'm not even surprised this happened at all.
Do you think Hunter should be forced to change the way he signs his name?
Image via Huffington Post