This is one of those stories that has me shaking my head, jaw hanging in disbelief. It's one thing to have a policy that disallows kids from bringing knives, guns, or other weapons to school. When a three year old is forced to change his name because sticking out his thumb and index finger is seen as offensive or threatening, it's time to change the policy instead.
Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.
Petition letter on change.org addressed to GIPS asking officials to let Hunter Spanjer keep his sign name.
"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.
Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?
"Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous. This is not threatening in any way," said Hunter's grandmother Janet Logue.
"It's a symbol. It's an actual sign, a registered sign, through S.E.E.," Brian Spanjer said.
S.E.E. stands for Signing Exact English, Hunter's sign language. Hunter's name gesture is modified with crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own.