School tells Nebraska family to change deaf son’s name because hand gesture looks like a gun

This cute little gaffer pictures is Hunter Spanjer, a 3-year-old from Nebraska who happens to be deaf.  Great thing though is that Hunter can sign his name using a type  of sign language known as Signing Exact English (S.E.E.).  Using this form of signing, Hunter “speaks” his name by crossing his index finger and middle finger and then shaking his hands.

Seems innocuous enough, right?  Not to the Grand Island public school board, who says the way the boy signs his name is a violation of it’s “weapons in school” policy.  Hunter’s family claim the school board have told them their son must change the way he signs his name so that it doesn’t’ violate their zero tolerance code against weapons in school.

You can’t make this stuff up, people.

From CBC

Drawing upon a policy that forbids “any instrument that looks like a weapon,” Grand Island Public School board officials say that Hunter’s name looks too much like a gun gesture to be used in school.

“It’s a symbol. It’s an actual sign, a registered sign, through S.E.E.,” said Spanjer’s father, Brian, to KOLN in Grand Island, Nebraska. “He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy.”

Hopefully the Grand Island school board officials come to their senses and realize just how ridiculous a proposition this is.  Of course, expecting bureaucrats to use common sense and do what’s right is about as rare as seeing Bigfoot doing shots with the Loch Ness Monster in an Irish pub.  And if they don’t budge, here’s hoping Hunter’s family teach the sweet boy to sign his name by extending both middle fingers…preferably in the direction of school board officials.


Jeff Greenwell is the writer/editor of Last Angry Fan. Jeff has been known to rock a Speedo while belting out Robert Goulet tunes from his front porch, and in his spare time he enjoys capturing and training feral goats to be his minions. Also known to dig a nice brick of cheese from time to time.
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