Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A Nebraska preschool is asking a three-year-old deaf boy to change his name because it violates the school board's weapons policy
Hunter Spanjer signs his first name by making what looks like shooting gestures with both hands. He crosses his fingers when he does it - a modification to show it's his proper name. But the Grand Island Public Schools board says that its "Weapons in Schools" policy bans "any instrument ... that looks like a weapon." The school wants him to change the sign, a request Hunter's family says is both unfair and silly. "Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way," Hunter's grandmother Janet Logue said. "It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign," said Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer. The school board wants to work out a compromise. "We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child," said school board spokesman Jack Sheard. But the Spanjers say that they aren't interested. They're bringing in lawyers from the National Association of the Deaf to fight for their son's right to sign his own name. Meanwhile, local residents say that the school is overreacting and Hunter poses no danger. I think the local residents are right.