Family: School Made Deaf Child Change Sign Name, Said It Looked Like Gun


#1

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (CBS St. Louis) — A Nebraska school district asked a deaf preschooler to change his sign language name because they believe the hand motion he used looked like he was shooting a gun.

The family of 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer said that their deaf son’s sign gesture violates the Grand Island Public Schools weapons policy.

“He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” Brian Spanjer, Hunter’s father, told Nebraska based news channel KOLN. “It’s a symbol. It’s an actual sign, a registered sign, through (Signing Exact English).”

He also started a Facebook page in an effort to support his son’s sign name, which has garnered nearly 1,000 supporters as of Tuesday

Family: School Made Deaf Child Change Sign Name, Said It Looked Like Gun « CBS St. Louis

There is an update … School District Says Deaf Student Not Required to Change Name

School District Says Deaf Student Not Required to Change Name


#2

I saw the original story about the school’s objections to the kid’s sign-language name. Regardless of the outcome, the fact that they would do it in the first place screams that some school officials need some bootprints on their backsides and directions to the unemployment line…


#3

When I was a very young man, I dated a young deaf woman. I learned much about what deaf people have to deal with in our society. I met some very nice and interesting people from her circle of friends.

Not only do I find this stupid, I find it to be outright offensive and very discriminatory against a child with a disability.


#4

It’s outright child abuse. The child is THREE YEARS OLD for crying out loud. :angry26:


#5

Somehow I don’t think young Mr. Spanjer is going to be shooting anybody with his name.


#6

That they tried it, and that it took massive public outcry for them to see they were stupidly and hoplophobically wrong!


#7

[quote=“Conservative_Libertarian, post:3, topic:39717”]
When I was a very young man, I dated a young deaf woman. I learned much about what deaf people have to deal with in our society. I met some very nice and interesting people from her circle of friends.

Not only do I find this stupid, I find it to be outright offensive and very discriminatory against a child with a disability.
[/quote]I am sure that was **the point **of why they did it–discriminate against the child because of the disability


#8

This is just silly. It’s silly for the school to make the kid stop signing his name with a shooting gesture. It’s just as silly to call this petty rule child abuse.

Perhaps the best compromise is to allow him to change his name-sign, to the upraised middle finger. :grin:


#9

I don’t think that it rises to the level of child abuse unless the school actually punished him. The article didn’t go into that much detail.

I am as angered about the outright stupidity on the part of the school officials which is obviously driven by a combination of zero-tolerance and progressive ideology.


#10

I give kids lots of credit - sometimes seems lots more than others - for how smart they are. I also, (or maybe as a result?), don’t cotton molly coddling.

That said, it is downright cruel to tell a 3 yr. old that his name won’t do - that it’s “bad.”

Without trying to go overly psycho-babble on ya’s, his name is about the most important thing in the world to a 3 yr. old. It’s what gives him his identity just as he’s pulling away for independence. It’s the first thing he learns, and the first thing he learns how to spell. That’s who he IS. Besides, that’s what mommy calls him.

Any idea how confused and hurt a child that age would be by basically telling him his very own name - everything he is - is “bad?”

That’s why you don’t do that. And any pre-school teacher who doesn’t inherently know that needs some name-changing, herself.

But then, this is why you don’t send 3 yr olds off to preschool for someone else to raise.


#11

Good points all!

We ran into some similar preschool and early elementary school issues with our son being bilingual (non-Spanish). No one said that any Persian words were wrong or bad. Teachers made assumtions that he did know things that he should for his age level when he used a Persian word to answer their questions. They didn’t take time to read all of the entry forms for which I wasted much of my time that clearly stated that he was bilingual and that Persian was his other language.

Having said, we chose a pre-school that was kindergarten prep and not daycare. We never used daycare. My wife and I ensured that one of us was home with our son at any one time. We didn’t even want to consider daycare.


#12

#13

Perhaps it was a bit over the top for me to label this as “child abuse”, but I’m glad to see so many understand why it was cruel.

Yes, children are mightily resilient, (thankfully), and this kid will most likely get over it.

Still doesn’t change the need for some heads to roll. Not only for their denseness, but for over-reaching their authority.

And here I used to wonder why anyone hired to watch over 3 yr. olds needs a degree in Child Development. If the ones in this situation don’t have one, goes to show why. If they do, goes to show how useless it is.

Why parents, at this stage of the game, still put up with the idiotic, “Zero Tolerance”, is beyond me when all it’s proven is that those they entrust with their children are either too lazy or too incompetent to discern the distinction between a finger and a real gun, or a Midol from a packet of Meth.


#14

Yeah, I remember when a youngster had a package of lemon drops confiscated, because he was sharing them with his friends and the powers that be didn’t know how to tell what they really were. I think it was a first grader.

Edit: They cited the “zero-tolerance” policy.


#15

Zero tolerance is, at root, an abdication of responsibility. It is poisonous, both in the apparatchik-like bureaucratization of administration and the injustices perpetrated when reasonable discretion cannot be exercised.

This is a byproduct of our litigious society. I am loath to admit it for obvious reasons, but perhaps Shakespeare was right.


#16

This is just another reason why parents should remove their children from any public school. As I said, this will continue until the public school system is dismantled completely.


#17

[quote=“Susanna, post:14, topic:39717”]
Yeah, I remember when a youngster had a package of lemon drops confiscated, because he was sharing them with his friends and the powers that be didn’t know how to tell what they really were. I think it was a first grader.

Edit: They cited the “zero-tolerance” policy.
[/quote] Suz, I actually remember that one. Most people were ‘palm facing’, wondering just how DUMB a teacher could be! Yet, it continues to this day.