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School Board Victimizes 3-Year-Old Deaf Boy

August 29, 2012 by  

School Board Victimizes 3-Year-Old Deaf Boy
SCREENSHOT
To sign his name, 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer crosses his index and middle fingers and waves them slightly.

A Nebraska school district is telling the parents of a deaf 3-year-old boy that the sign language for his name, Hunter Spanjer, looks too much like a gun and must be changed.

Despite the fact that Hunter uses Signing Exact English (S.E.E.), the standard sign language, for his name, the school district says that the gestures he makes too closely resemble a gun. The imagery of a “dangerous weapon” is created when he crosses his index and middle fingers and waves them slightly.

But, the child’s name apparently offends the Grand Island School districts “Weapons in Schools” Board Policy 8470 which forbids “any instrument…that looks like a weapon.” This apparently includes a 3-year-old’s hands.

“Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way,” Hunter’s grandmother Janet Logue told the local NCN news channel.

 

 

“We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson, told KOLN.

The American Civil Liberties Union has urged the district to reconsider its deeming of the child’s name as an offensive gesture.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Harold Olsen

    Once again, political correctness run amok. This is also discriminating against someone who is handicapped which is supposed to be against the law. Just because they don’t like the kid’s name they demand his parents change it. What will they do if some Hispanic kid shows up whose name is Jesus. Tell his parents they have to change it because it is offensive. But, I’ll bet they’d be fine with the name Mohammed.

    • wayne (wagonmaker) link

      it is a wonderful name the name is a mans name and those with it seem to show pride . If his teachers must explain the difference between a hunter and murderer let them enjoy the moment of teaching.

    • Roy

      muppim says how stupid can people be? and were sending our kids to be taugt by these people

      • Average Joe

        Roy,
        We will never have to fear Artificial Intelligence taking over the world. With educators like these… they prove once and for all……Natural Stupidty will win out every time ;)

        Best Wishes,
        AJ

  • hooder

    The only thing offensive here is the school board. How ignorant can you get?

    • wayne (wagonmaker) link

      Teaching tolerance and the excitement of a word in English having multiple meanings .It is part of the joy of laughter we share with people using English as a second or third or fourth language.

    • Larry K.

      I WOULD CHANGE THE THREE YEAR OLD’S NAME TO JUST ONE FINGER AND THAT WOULD BE THE MIDDLE FINGER.

  • http://none Tierbb

    Time for us to grow up and become a little more realistic. Is this important?

  • tim

    These people have no common sense!!! Time for his parents to slap a lawsuit on the school and see how fast things change!!!

  • eddie47d

    There are gang signals and gestures that some find offensive and they too are part of sign languages. Can’t change everything since there will always be someone who is offended. I can’t stand associates or comedians,movie actors,etc who constantly cuss although they think it is a normal part of their language.”What’s a mother to do”!

    • s c

      What’s a mother to do, eh? Comrade ‘e,’ you have a knack for murdering the English language. I almost agreed with you until you warped your central idea and threw in the ‘mother’ factor. Some people will think you’re a mommy, instead of a hardcore commie, comrade e.’
      As for the topic of this article, one of the Omaha radio stations [KFAB] has been covering this insane issue. Frankly, if anyone needs a lesson in pc gone mad, this is a good place to start. I thought our Big Mutha controllers were always CONCERNED about self-esteem. HOW can they be TRULY concerned when they’re busy trying to single out a kid and make HIM the object of Washington’s paranoid schizophrenia? By the way, if you think is only a “local” issue, you’re under the influence of drugs or political brainwashing, folks.
      A little kid is a little kid Apparently, those elected and appointed criminals in Washington just can’t understand that basic point. So, a kid’s fingers are now grouped with weapons. That’s interesting logic, isn’t it?
      My advice for the kid’s father is to take the little guy and (as much as possible) HOMESCHOOL him. Public education is a failed system of government indoctrination, and it is IMPLODING. It’s the education version of Amtrak [we screw it up and you keep funding it via tax dollars regardless of how much it must be ABORTED).
      I have no sympathy for those who plan to use a kid to further their political machinations. And comrade ‘e,’ thanks for reminding us that you’re just another utopian “mother.” You DO have a way with words.

      • duane

        Right On. I agree 1000% with what you posted in response to that eddy whatever he calls himself.

      • eddie47d

        Well Ms Dumb and Mr Dumber where did I say anyone should pick on sign language or little kids. The same old ridiculous spin comes out of the mouth of SC and now she has a new pal encouraging her rambling nonsense. The only “murder” SC is your name calling and poorly written rants.

      • eddie47d

        Another thing CREEPY SC I recently signed two petitions (0n Change.org) in defense of Hunter Spanjer so I do put “my money where my mouth is” .That is far more than I can say about your wicked mouth .

  • ves

    Itms time to start FIRING these idiots that keep coming up with this crap!!

    • 45caliber

      ves:

      But they are watching out for you! After all, “Hunter” is a terrible thing! It is someone who kills things! They have to change that to insure the other kids don’t mistake a hunter for someone like Hunter who is a nice person.

  • wayne (wagonmaker) link

    if you fire them they no longer have to explain why they did something so stupid in the first place .When they learn we all learn.And the child will be proud of his parents choice and the rest of societies concerns for is identity .His voice is in his hands and smile.

  • RivahMitch

    “We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child”. The best solution for this (or any) chold is to get him/them out of such a repressive, stifling PC school atmosphere.

    • 45caliber

      “We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child”.

      That means – “you have to do things the way we tell you”. It is only another liberal expression that is meaningless except in the context that the libs give it.

  • America First

    RivahMitch cannot agree with you. What is going on within the school in regard to the child’s name is rediculous. What needs to be done in my opinion is to remove those on the school board who believe this way. The citizens need to straighten this out with their vote. We’ve allowed the stuff long enough. This type of reasoning is rampart in our country.

    • Brooks Lyman

      The problem isn’t necessarily the school board. Today, most school boards don’t have a lot of control over the curriculum or school policy. They leave that up to the “experts” – the teachers and “educators” who, as we have seen in so many instances, have bought into this radical PC business. The best all-around solution for the Spanjers would be to take their kid(s) out of the public schools and (preferably) home school them. But homeschooling or private schools cost money (or time) that many parents simply don’t have. In the case of a deaf (or otherwise handicapped) child, I think that they would do much better home-schooled than in any typical public or private school. What such a child needs is more individual attention than most schools can afford to give them. That a three-year old can manage to learn sign language suggests to me, that he is probably a good bit smarter than the average three-year-old, but if he has to cope in a typical public (or private) school classroom, he is likely to fall behind. As someone famously said, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. That the school is playing ridiculous PC games simply makes an already bad situation worse. And if the parents sue the school to get them to lay off, the school will look upon them as part of the problem, not part of the solution, which will probably not help Hunter Spanjer at all….

  • Dan Schink

    Schools are getting so stupid the past few years, where, just where is there common sense????????

    • 45caliber

      Dan:

      Someone might get in trouble for using common sense. After all, it isn’t PC. And PC is the thing to remember, isn’t it? That doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings – except those like Hunter … and that doesn’t count. Does it?

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  • http://yahoo marc lizotte

    You people are so embarassing that this report doesn`t deserve a response! SILLY, SILLY SILLY

  • Grammy

    STUPID!

    • R White

      This is just about as stupid as it gets. Isn’t Hunter’s “sound barrier” enough for a three year old to bear? Does he have to change his name or invent new signage to be “educated” in that school system? Are the other three year olds afraid for their lives? Are the “teachers”? It’s a beautiful name, and it doesn’t necessarily mean “killer”. Remember hunting for four-leaf-clovers or Easter eggs? Do you ever have to hunt for your keys? Do you hunt for bargains? Get over yourself, “teachers”! He’s three and has a hard enough time in this world without being branded as a “bad word” or worse yet, a “bad person”.. Are you afraid of him? I’m not; I’d love to give him a great big hug; he’s a cutie.

      Grandma to eight; great-grandma to one and 7/9ths

  • AK Tom

    Teaching our children at an early age that guns are evil and need to be banned will only ensure their fate as helpless victims in the future. Whether they be helpless against criminals that mean to do them harm or defenseless sheep against a tyrannical government. How many millions of us growing up played with sticks as guns and threw dirt clods as pretend hand grenades playing war? What percentage of us became psycho killers? This extreme stupidity has got to stop before we become a nation of complete [expletive deleted] and any invading army can just walk right in and take us over.

    • An Old Seabee

      I wouldn’t worry about an invading army….we already have one; it’s called the US GOVERNMENT. That’s the one I would be concerned about. take away our guns and the only elements left armed are the criminal crooks and the gov’t crooks. It is the gov’t ones to watch out for.

      • Parisfox

        You are so right Old Seabee. I hear ya.

  • FedUP!

    Wow, some people just really make you feel sick! I would hate to be the one with the name that brought this gem up!

  • 45caliber

    I think the real problem here is that his name is ‘Hunter’. After all, the mear word means ‘someone who it trying to kill something’. The parents should have named him something else and should therefore allow the school to do it for them.

    The SEE motion for his name is crossing the index and middle fingers. Hunter himself added the slight wave to it. The SEE motion for ‘gun’ is to fold the ring and small fingers back with the thunb and index fingers on top of the middle finger. Not even close. What they want him to do is spell out his name without using any SEE motions. And that takes six different finger combinations, resulting in a longer time and something the other kids can’t mimic very well.

    • BradR

      45 caliber – You are an idiot

      • 45caliber

        I’m an idiot for telling you what the signs are? Really? Wow! Makes me wonder about your lack of education.

      • H Stan Boring PHC USN (Ret.)

        45caliber says:

        August 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

        “I think the real problem here is that his name is ‘Hunter’. After all, the mear word means ‘someone who it trying to kill something’. The parents should have named him something else and should therefore allow the school to do it for them.”

        45, this is the part of your post referred to. I hope you were being satirical. Your explanation of the signs was informative, but the satire was not clear.

        BTW: The ACLU supporting this innocent child is the first thing in my memory they have done which I support.

  • BradR

    These administrators need to be tarred and feathered

  • Antonio

    WOW!! This is unbelievable, but hell in a anti-gun country I guess it makes sense. Several months ago I decided to change the image of my credit card. I uploaded a picture of myself holding one of my rifles; so that that would be the image on my credit card. I received an e-mail saying that the image was declined because it violated their policy of no violence, drugs, gangs. I called and asked them what was so violent about my picture. They said because it had a gun in it. I told them that here in the USA guns are legal and therefore not violent, but they said sorry sir it violates our policy….Everything is becoming more and more anti gun….

    • Freedom from gov’t

      OH yeah that day is coming!! Alot closer than some think. Not only will our children and grandchildren inherit all the debt from this blood sucking gov’t,they will also be shoved off into camps and put on gov’t work brigades to pay off that debt. All their freedoms,inheritance,self worth, and self esteem destroyed with only sticks and stones to defend themselves. Welcome to the THIRD WORLD ORDER. I know alot of you think I’m nuts when I repeat myself about this but if you think that things now, as bad as they are becoming, is as worse as it can get… THINK AGAIN. 20-30 years from now when the 40 somethings are passing on and the children, who have been taught that guns are evil, will be complete prisoners to an already tyrannic gov’t that is only going to become more brutal towards it’s citizens and their rights. OH yeah and hears(DELIBERATE IT MEANS LISTEN) the really crazy part if we don’t execute our rights to bear arms against tyranny includng that in our gov’t pretty soon all that’s gonna be left is rocks in your bank accounts and your hands. WAKE UP!!!!!

  • JimH

    We can’t have anything that resembles a weapon?
    Girls don’t bring that hair dryer for after PE. It has a “pistol grip”.
    I can see something this stupid happening on the east coast, or Chicago,(where the kids have the real thing) but not in Nebraska. They’ve infested everywhere.

    • s c

      JimH, you’d be surprised to learn how much the midwest has been infested by pc, treason and ‘anything for money and votes.’ It’s NO coincidence that the once great state of Illinois is Amerika’s #1 refuge for elected and appointed criminals. Do you think it’s safe to say that we’d get a better deal with the Mafia? At least THEY have no use for useful idots or communists (unless the Mafia has changed its ways, that is).
      Up the rebels!

      • JimH

        sc, I guess the Mafia wouldn’t care if a 3 year old deaf boys finger remotly resembles a weopon.
        The way it sounds most of Grand Island Nebraska doesn’t either.
        I just wonder where these PC people come from and how do they wind up with the important jobs, so they can spread the stupidity.
        In our town we “vote” for who ever is on the school board. The people of Grand Island have some names to remember next election.

  • s c

    Let me try to answer your question via an easy method, shermangerherd. You sound like someone who is very youg. If that’s the case, you haven’t been around long enough to fathom the depth and breadth of stupidity, evil and twisted schemes of Amerikan politicians [BOTH major parties, sadly].
    Assuming that America manages to last for another 10 years or so, you will NOT believe how stupid [evil, power-mad, insane, etc.] Amerikan politicians can be. While I can’t prove it, that Big Tent that ultraliberal, progressive utopians LOVE demands that people surrender their integrity and their intelligenece (what’s left of it) BEFORE they’re admitted and accepted as card-carrying members of that freedom-hating, money, power-and-titles happy herd. They are, as you will discover, shermangerherd, insane by choice. And, they also claim they’re on the “right” side of history.

    • s c

      Whoa, the word should be ‘young,’ not youg.

    • http://igatherum.wordpress.com shermangerherd

      How did you do the anonymous thing? Hiding?
      Actually, I am near 66 yo. Been around a while.
      Second? Rhetorical questions probably don’t need to be answered.
      Third, send me your site address. You sound intrestin’.

  • Average Joe

    I I read this story a couple of days ago and found it to be both ludicrous and appalling. I am guessing that next, we will have an agent of the government standing in the delivery room with a large book….you want to name your child what? Sorry, that’s not on the list of “approved” names.
    Insanity knows no bounds….just an observation….

    Best Wishes,
    AJ

  • steve

    only in america, the land of the free and wacked out school system. this teacher didn’t spend enough time in time out

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.mancuso.56 Dan Mancuso

    They should bring back the strap and apply it to the backsides of all the ‘people’ who started this idiocy, helped it along and are keeping it going. Probably be a good idea to make this ‘strap to their backsides’ public. I keep thinking the ridiculessness of political correctness can’t get any worse – boy was I wrong! What is really scarey are the number of ‘people’ out there who buy into this BS without question – all products of the public school education system no doubt!

  • Franklyn Molina

    Here’s my question, WHY are the school and the school board messing with a three-year-old deaf child? They have their sight! What else does the school board do for fun, huh? Maybe steal tires off of wheelchairs or replace old people’s heart pills with skittles? Pieces of garbage. I would sue the living daylights out of the school district! The boy can’t help that he’s deaf. Sign lanuage is supposed to be universal, now they want to confuse the boy and keep him from saying his own name! Tar and feather the communist scumbag school board members! BURN THEM AT THE STAKE!

  • http://personalliberty TomT3

    Unlimited !!!

  • Average Joe

    Ok, they want the child to change how he “signs” his name…no problem, how about having him sign with his middle finger ..straight up? Works for me……
    What’s you name little boy?…… ( I sure hope this translates properly)

    ……..:´¯/)
    …………./¯..// …………/….//
    ……/´¯/’…’/´¯¯’)¸
    …/’/…/…./……./¨¯
    .(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ..……………..’……/
    …’……………. _.•´
    …..………….. (
    ………………..

    Any more Questions?

    Best wishes,
    AJ

  • Frank H

    I would name him Slasher. That wouldn’t be a gun.

  • 45caliber

    In this day and age, it is tempting to name a boy “Gunner” – which used to be a popular name.

  • Denis Tucker

    Then transfer to the Deaf school.

  • Chuck Molling

    What a bunch of asses who supposedly are “teaching” kids!

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  • Kurt

    It seems ironic to me that public schools have a zero tolerance on violence while being supported by the institute of taxation which is effectively armed robbery.

  • DeborAnn

    Sad Extremely Sad for the USA This scares me

  • Pingback: Hunter Spanjer, 3-Year-Old Deaf Boy, Told By Preschool To Change Way He Signs His Name (VIDEO) – From Huffington Post « deafinprison

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