When a School Tells You to Change Your Kid's Name

Little Hunter Spanjer is only three years old, but officials at his preschool want him to change his name.  Or more specifically, they want his family to assign a new “name sign” to the kid.

Because you see, Hunter is deaf and his name in sign language represents a potential weapon.  And as you know, schools forbid weapons of any kind, including those you can make out of your hand shapes.

Well, there goes the days of little kids playing “cops and robbers” during recess.

Now go take a moment to look at the video where Hunter’s family demonstrates his name sign:

Deaf Preschooler’s Name in Sign Language “Represents a Weapon.”

In the article, “School spokesman Jack Sheard told the New York Daily News that rather than the condensed sign he uses now, they want him to spell out his name, letter by letter.”

Ok, now I want you to imagine a little kid named Richard, whose family calls him Dick. Now imagine the school telling the parents, “We can no longer call your kid ‘Dick.’  At school, he will have to spell it out. D-I-C-K.  Or even better, we prefer that you call him Richard, because his name is just too offensive at school.”

That would be one heck of a  lawsuit if my friend Dick Kruso had to face that in school…

A name sign given to a kid is as much as his name as the one on the birth certificate.  For instance, my kids have sign names in different handshapes and locations– each as unique as the kid.  So for the school to tell the parents, “change your kid’s name,” well that’s stepping way over the bounds.

Way over.

And you know another irony…  my son has a friend with the same name sign as Hunter.  I guess I better tell my son to stop signing his friend’s name.  After all, he might get shot.





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    Maybe the school should have to change its name from whatever it is to "Paranoid Faculty Elementary". Or Middle. This is horrible. Hunter, by name, comes from a long line of troubadors and warriors, and should be able to shout his name PROUDLY from on high.

    "I am HUNTER! If you fear my name, perhaps you should. I will not bow to your politely fascist bullying, and I change NOTHING!"

    Surely he's too young for anything like that, but the feeling must rest somewhere inside of him. Teach him to be brave, and never let the Terrified tell him (or you) who he is.

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