29/08/2012 12:07:00 PM
by Sameer Vasta
In a horrible case of political correctness gone wrong, a deaf boy is being told he's not allowed to sign his name at school anymore. School officials need a lesson in common sense.
Hunter Spanjer is like any other three-year-old boy: he goes to pre-school, plays with friends, and learns new things every day. If the local school district has its way, Hunter may have to learn how to say his name, all over again.
Hunter is deaf, and communicates using sign language. School officials in his district are upset at the way his name is signed; they claim that the sign may look like wagging guns and that the perceived action is potentially threatening and inappropriate for the school environment.
The officials at the school district seems to be the only people who feel threatened by Hunter's name; the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of the Deaf have both urged the school board to reconsider its situation, and the general feeling is that the school is reading too much into an innocuous sign.
They are absolutely right. Forcing Hunter to change the way he signs his name is like changing his name itself. No school should be able to force a child to change her or his name because of an over-extension of political correctness. Hunter's signing of his name is not a threat to anyone at the school or in the school district; it is his way of connecting with people, making friends, and forging his identity.
I have no doubt that the school district will realize its folly and reverse their decision soon, if not today. Their knee-jerk reaction was made without any common sense or any concern over the well-being of their student — a contrarian behavior from an organization that is supposed to have the well-being of the student as their primary concern.
Until then, let's make sure that the school officials realize that sometimes decisions need to be made with a little thought and a little context, rather than in a vacuum from up high. And let's make sure little Hunter knows that his name is his own, and he should be proud of it and proud of who he is.
Edited by zero-ONE-three, 29 August 2012 - 07:37 PM.