Deaf Child Prohibited From Signing His Own Name Because It Looks Like a Gun — Is It Fair? [VIDEO, POLL]
Hunter Spanjer, a deaf preschooler in Grand Island, Nebraska, is being prohibited from signing his name (in sign language) because administrators at his school believe that the gesture he uses looks like a gun.
His father Brian said, “He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy.” His grandmother concurred, saying, “Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way.”
Young Hunter, who is only three-and-a-half, uses SEE – Signing Exact English — to communicate. Modified ASL handshapes are utilized to better mimic spoken English. However, his preschool has a zero tolerance policy towards “any instrument that looks like a weapon.” That includes a sign language gesture that is interpreted as looking like a gun.
However, Hunter’s name sign is registered and when watching the video of the little tyke signing his name, it looks like fingers to us and, more importantly, like Hunter’s name to him.
The powers that be would not discuss the matter but did say a compromise was their goal. They actually want Hunter to change his name sign.
The ACLU and National Association of the Deaf have reached out and offered to assist if legal action needs to be taken in this matter.