Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, June 3, 2013

School Forces Deaf Boy Not To Sign Name

Three months ago, I discussed how a second-grader was suspended for forming a Pop Tart into a shape of a gun, and I claimed that this was the dumbest incident caused by a zero-tolerance policy.

Well, once again, I've been proven wrong.

A three-year-old  is being forced by his school not to sign his name. Why? Because the hand gesture for it looks like a gun!
Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.

"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.

Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?

"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way," said Hunter's grandmother Janet Logue.

"It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through S.E.E.," Brian Spanjer said.

S.E.E. stands for Signing Exact English, Hunter's sign language. Hunter's name gesture is modified with crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own.

"We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child," said Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson.

That's just about all GIPS officials will say for now.

Meantime, Hunter's parents say that by Monday, lawyers from the National Association of the Deaf are likely to weigh in for Hunter's right to sign his own name.
Granted, this boy has not been suspended or punished, but he's still being forced by the school not to sign his own name because it looks like a gun.

Even if it does conflict with the school's weapon policy, so what? Why can't the school make an exception for a deaf kid's name?

Why do they need to have lawyers involved? Lawyers. Freaking lawyers! All to let a three-year-old deaf boy make a harmless gesture!

And these school administrators are responsible for educating children? That doesn't exactly raise confidence in our public education system. If anything, it makes it look even more incompetent than it already is.

Anyone foolish enough to trust the public school system with the education of their children are not paying attention. If these people can't be trusted to differentiate a hand gesture from a dangerous weapon, they cannot be trusted to educate children, let alone be allowed near them!