In Defense of a Name

And to piggyback on the previous post – This is one of those news stories that is real, and therefore more ridiculous than parody!

A deaf three-year old in Nebraska is being told to change the way in which he signs his name because apparently, the hand signal looks too much like a gun and therefore violates their weapons policy.

Sign isn’t something you can just change for school policy. This is the way in which a child communicates with his WORLD. I’m not super familiar with sign language,  but I cannot imagine that it is easy to explain to a three-year old that the way he says his name scares his teachers.

I feel like this really sets up a problem for him early on in his schooling, already prioritizing the community over his needs as an individual with accommodations. To me, telling someone that the way in which they communicate violates a “policy” is ludicrous. It is also harmful – and it sets up the expectation to his peers (though they are not aware of it now) that his language is little more than a challenge to policy, and is not the avenue to communication.

I would hope that the school system will recognize how incredibly inappropriate this is, and in the future will prioritize his needs, and not create a situation in which he feels like an outcast in the future. Having been the outcast in school, both from my administrators and my peers, I hope his future is brighter and less frustrating.

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