Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nebraska School Won't Let Deaf Boy Use Name Sign

So here is the link to the article and the video on the site.

There is a school in Nebraska who is refusing to let a 3 year old deaf boy use his name sign. For the uninitiated, a name sign is a sign that you use when telling people your name instead of finger spelling the whole thing out. It's quicker than finger spelling, especially for a child so young. Hearing children his age have a hard time spelling their own damn names. Also, name signs usually have a bit of a personal touch to them to signify the person they belong to.

To kind of illustrate my point for my hearing readers that don't know much about deaf culture, my friend told me about a woman named Jacklyn who had some deaf friends. She had a bit of a booty to her and her hips swayed when she walked. When her friends signed her name sign to her, they signed the letter 'j' with a swerve in the middle. My own friend Jessie helped deaf children for a stint in a deaf school for her deaf studies class. After a couple of days the kids gave her a name sign. So instead of spelling out her name every time, they would sign a little 'j' by their ear because of the pretty and neat earrings she always wore.

Hunter's name sign is done by combining the 'h' and 'r' letter signs and waving them in front of him a bit. The school says it violates their zero tolerance policy because it looks like he's waving guns. So instead every time he has to say his name, he now has to finger spell it.

What in the tedious hell? How would these hearing people like it if someone told them they now had to spell out their names instead of just saying it because their name sounded offensive to them, or because it violated some policy? Because that is exactly what they are doing to Hunter. Hunter is the name his parents gave him. An actual hunter hunts. Sign Language is a very observational language for obvious reasons, there is a reason why his name sign looks the way it does. He's not threatening the other children or disrupting class, he's signing his name in his language.

The parents say that the school has even asked them to change his name sign to something less offensive. The school is denying this and Hunter still is not allowed to sign his name.

This is the most ridiculous and stupid thing I've been exposed to all day...and I work with the public. Granted it's over the phone, but you'd be surprised how much more stupid people can be over the phone than in person.

Hunter's parents have gotten the ACLU involved and from one report I read the National Association of the Deaf were also helping them as well. I really wish them luck in fighting this absolutely idiotic rule. Thank you hearing people in Nebraska for making us look bad to the deaf community.

Here is the link to the Facebook page the father set up, I encourage everyone to join it and show support for the Spanjer family. There was also a petition that someone had going to encourage the school to let Hunter keep his name, but it's now closed and has been delivered to the school. Yeah, let the stupidity of that sentence sink in. There has to be a petition for someone to keep their name.

1 comment:

  1. After reading this, I'm sure glad I to have renewed my ALCU membership ~! So dumb.

    What's up with Nebraska? I dunno, Alaska . . .

    Here's to name signs ~~ cool beans.


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