School Wants Deaf Boy, 3, to Change Name Sign...
Because it looks too much like a weapon
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2012 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Hunter Spanjer is deaf, so the Nebraska 3-year-old says his name by signing with a hand gesture—a hand gesture that his school doesn't like. Grand Island Public Schools prohibits "any instrument … that looks like a weapon" from being on campus, and apparently the school thinks Hunter's hands fit the bill. He signs his name by waving his hands with crossed, pointed fingers; in a video on, you can see it does look very slightly he's pointing a fake finger-gun.

But it's not: "It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through SEE," says Hunter's father, Brian. That's Signing Exact English, the sign language Hunter uses. The crossed-fingers detail is a modification to the name sign to make it unique for Hunter. The family has the National Association of the Deaf behind them, but all a school spokesperson will say is that officials "are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child."