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Family: School Made Deaf Child Change Sign Name, Said It Looked Like Gun

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Screen shot of Facebook support page for Hunter. (credit: Facebook)

Screen shot of Facebook support page for Hunter. (credit: Facebook)

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (CBS St. Louis) — A Nebraska school district asked a deaf preschooler to change his sign language name because they believe the hand motion he used looked like he was shooting a gun.

The family of 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer said that their deaf son’s sign gesture violates the Grand Island Public Schools weapons policy.

“He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” Brian Spanjer, Hunter’s father, told Nebraska based news channel KOLN. “It’s a symbol. It’s an actual sign, a registered sign, through (Signing Exact English).”

He also started a Facebook page in an effort to support his son’s sign name, which has garnered nearly 1,000 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Grand Island school district is hoping to come to a solution to the sign gesture soon.

“We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson, told KOLN.

The ACLU is backing the Spanjer family, asking the school district to reconsider making Hunter change his sign gesture.

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