Change My Name. Change Your Name!

Nikita Rector, Editor in Chief

I heard something on the radio awhile back that startled me and I haven’t seemed to stop thinking about since…

In Grand Island, NE a preschool told a deaf, three-year old student, that he had to change the sign for his name.

Grand Island Public Schools’ officials told the family that the manner in which Hunter signs his name is a violation of the “weapons in school” policy.

According to FOX News, Brian Spanjer, the boy’s father, said the sign is a registered symbol with the Signing Exact English system.

The National Association of the Deaf or NAD, also released a statement that read: “The NAD is not aware of any other schools that have banned a name sign, Grand Island Public Schools is likely the first to ever to do so. It would be inappropriate for Grand Island Public Schools to prohibit a person from another country to use in school their own name which they deemed offensive.”

This seems crazy to me, that a school is trying to tell a student that he has to change his name. People who are deaf have signs for their names, that is the only way they know them. That is like telling Mike to change his name, he only knows himself as Mike. Mike couldn’t tell the Principle to change his name, simply because he doesn’t like it, so what authority does he have to force him to change his name?

Some people change their names as adults, but that is a personal choice. Forcing someone to change his or her name however, is out of the question.
In my opinion schools have no authority to force a child to change his or her name. If a foreign exchange student or even simply another student had a name they considered to be offensive, the school could do nothing about it. So why should they be able to make Hunter change the sign for his name?

It is unbelievable and outrageous, that a school system would try to do this.