Deaf boy's parents concerned about name

Aug. 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The parents of a 3-year-old deaf boy in Nebraska said officials at his public preschool want him to change the sign for his name, a gesture resembling a gun.

Brian Spanjer and Morgan Hurt, parents of Hunter Spanjer, said the boy uses the gesture from Signing Exact English to sign his name, but staff at the Early learning Center run by Grand Island Public Schools want him to change the sign because it resembles a gun, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Janet Logue, Hunter's grandmother, said her grandson is "confused" at school when teachers spell out his name instead of using the sign.

A school spokesman said he could not directly address the complaint due to privacy rules, but said no deaf students have been asked to change their names.

"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," spokesman Jack Sheard said. "The school district teaches American Sign Language for students with hearing impairments. ASL is recommended by the Nebraska Department of Education and is widely used in the United States. The sign language techniques taught in the school district are consistent with the standards of the Nebraska Department of Education and ASL."

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