Deaf boy asked to change sign language name

Preschool in Nebraska says the sign looked too much like a gun

Published On: Aug 30 2012 02:15:25 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 30 2012 04:18:47 AM PDT
Hunter Spanjer

 A deaf preschooler in Nebraska was asked to change the way he signs his name after being told the sign looked like a gun.

The parents of 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer claim the school district in Grand Island, Neb., told them their son's sign language name violated its "weapons in school" policy and asked them to modify it, Grand Island TV station KGIN reported.

Hunter's family was shocked. And upset.

"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous," Hunter's grandmother, Janet Logue, told KGIN. "This is not threatening in any way."

The Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sent the district a letter asking officials to reconsider their stance, according to the Facebook page "Let This Deaf Child Keep His Sign Language Name" set up by Hunter's family.

The page already has more than 8,300 likes.

Grand Island Public Schools has since relented after initially refusing to discuss the case.

Late Tuesday, Officials issued a statement saying they will not require any hearing impaired students to change their sign language name.

"Grand Island Public Schools has not changed the sign language name of any student, nor is it requiring any student to change how his or her name is signed," the statement said.