July 28, 2014

Signing Hunter has deaf child at odds with Grand Island school officials

A father claims that Grand Island school officials have the symbol his deaf son uses to sign his name in its crosshairs.

Brian Spanjer says he will fight any efforts to change the sign language 3-year-old Hunter uses to sign his name, though he claims there is pressure from the school district to do just that.

Spanjer says such a change would only confuse Hunter.

“Had a meeting with the principal and they gave me a number of signs that would have been acceptable in a school setting, in their eyes and also the option to finger spell his name,” Spanjer tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KFAB.

Hunter Spanjer uses the sign language called Signing Exact English and his signed name resembles a gun.

“The exact question I asked was, ‘Well, is there a policy we are in violation of?’” Spanjer said. “And I was responded to as technically it’s a violation of our weapons policy.”

Spanjer says Hunter began using Signing Exact English as soon as he could.

“We want what’s best for him and what’s best for him is not to confuse him with changing his name sign when he’s had it for three years already,” according to Spanjer.

Hunter Sanjer attends the Early Learning Center in Grand Island.

Click here for the “Let this Deaf Child Keep His Name Sign” Facebook page for Hunter Sanjer.

KFAB contributed to this article.