Aug 30, 2012 12:50 PM by Alyse Rzemek

Nebraska school wants deaf boy to change his name

The family of a 3-year-old deaf boy in Nebraska say school administrators want to change the way he signs his name because the gesture resembles a gun. Hunter Spanjer was born deaf and hears nothing. He uses this gesture of crossing his figures to sign his own name.

His dad Brian Spanjer says its the only name Hunter has ever known.He says the principal at Hunter's pre-school told them Hunter's name sign violates a zero tolerance weapons policy and therefore he can't use it.

Mom, Morgan Hurt is upset over the principal's request. "That's the name we gave our son. That's how i communicate with him from day one. I don't see why we should have to change it."

The toddler goes to a public pre-school, where about 2 percent of the kids have hearing disabilities. A spokesman emphasized that the school teaches American Sign Language, or ASL, but said privacy laws and school policy forbids him from talking specifically about Hunter's family's claims.

The Grand Island public schools have never required any student to change their name sign. Hunters parents insist after several phone calls and meetings with school officials, the principal insisted Hunter use a different sign for his name.

Hunter's family says the principal offered several options for Hunter, such as spelling his name.

After nearly a week of no communication, Hunter's parents say school officials have asked them to come in and talk. They are willing to discuss the issue, but insist Hunter's name will remain what's it's always been.



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