School OKs deaf child’s name sign

After banning a preschooler from signing his name — they think it looks like a gun — Grand Island, Nebraska school officials have relented. Three-year-old Hunter Spanjer wil be allowed to use his name sign. (There’s a video at the link of the boy making the sign. It doesn’t look like anything in particular to me.)

The boy’s family registered his sign with S.E.E. which stands for Signing Exact English. He uses crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own. When Hunter’s parents were told the sign violates the district’s weapons policy, they threatened to bring in lawyers from the National Association of the Deaf.

I wonder if Grand Island objects to Hunter’s name in spoken English. After all, what do hunters use?

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  1. tim-10-ber says:

    This never would have been news had educators used common sense — which I truly think so many administrators lack as they know nothing more than “going by the book”. These are the same people in charge of teaching kids critical thinking skills so many have no clue how to use themselves. Heaven help us!

    • Oh come on, common sense requires risk-taking since you’re the owner of your decision.

      Base your decisions on the rules, even if they’re stupid, shortsighted, poorly-crafted, politically-motivated or injurious, and you’re covered. Given the minimal scope an individual has to distinguish themselves on the basis of their skills in the public education system there’s not much reward for accepting responsibilty for a decision.

      You can’t very well expect your teaching, or administrative, skills to offset the unpleasent results of a poor decision because neither, especially the former, is valued by the organization. So you try to avoid looking stupid but you also never stray from the rules even if they’re stupid.

      • Very good point. To be snarky, this means that administrators are basically REQUIRED to be idiots and trolls, and CANNOT be too smart. Like Dilbert’s boss. But you’re exactly right.

  2. Katie Jones says:

    Wow. I’m surprised that the school district banned this in the first place. It’s good that they lifted the ban though.

  3. Well, that was magnanimous of them, allowing a kid to keep using his name. Since when do students need a school’s imprimatur for their name?

    God save us from such morons.

  4. My son went to “Gunn” high school. How would they deal with that?

  5. In Harrisonburg, Virginia there’s a Keister Elementary School. It’s not hard to imagine appropriate sign language gestures for that name.

  6. Yep, it’s true. You have to be a moron to be a public school administrator.