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A three-year-old deaf boy in Nebraska has been told by his teachers to change the way he signs his name because the gesture resembles shooting a gun.
Hunter Spanjer uses the standard Signing Exact English (SEE) to communicate. To sign his name, he crosses his index and middle fingers and waves them slightly.
But school administrators argue that the motion goes against Grand Island Public Schools' zero tolerance policy on guns and violence that prohibits any "instrument" that "looks like a weapon"
Many people are not so happy with this position.
“Anybody that I have talked to thinks this is absolutely ridiculous,” Hunter’s grandmother Janet Logue told NCN. “This is not threatening in any way.”
The Facebook page, "Let this Deaf Child Keep His Name Sign," has more than 11,500 likes and the ACLU sent a letter to the school district asking them to reconsider their policy. And Howard Rosenblum - the CEO of the National Organization for the Deaf - has promised legal assistance to Hunter's family if it becomes a necessity.
"A name sign is the equivalent of a person's name, and to prohibit a name sign is to prohibit a person's name," Rosenblum wrote in an email to the Huffington Post.
The story is making the rounds on the Internet, so it's pretty likely that the school will get significant pressure to reconsider their ill-advised position.
As one commenter asked, "Whatever happened to common sense and shared humanity, not to mention respecting the dignity of a 3-year-old and his family?"