Hunter Spanjer, the three-year-old student, attends a preschool in the Grand Island Public Schools district in Nebraska.
According to Hunter's dad, Brian Spanjer, this school district is banning his son's sign language name because it looks like a gun. Brian Spanjer told Nebraska-based KOLN, "He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy."
"It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through (Signing Exact English)."
Signing/saying his name isn't offensive, and frankly, neither is making a gun sign with your hand. Does anyone remember when children used to play "cops and robbers"?
When I was a kid, we played Star Wars, but I guess that wouldn't be allowed on today's playgrounds either.
Hunter Spanjer has a constitutional right to free speech, and the public school district should be defending, not abridging, that right. This school district needs to reverse track soon.
The spokesman for Grand Island Public Schools, Jack Sheard, told KOLN, "We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child." The only solution should be to let him express his name in the way he and his parents desire.
Let's hope Hunter's parents stand their ground and fight this oppressive policy. You can support the Spanjers' efforts on their Facebook page: "Let this Deaf Child Keep His Name Sign."