School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

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School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:33 pm UTC

BoingBoing wrote:In the interest of safety, a preschool is insisting that a deaf boy named Hunter change his name at school so people don't accidentally shoot and kill someone with their finger when they use sign language to say his name.

Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.

"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.

Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?


Better safe than sorry!

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Роберт » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:38 pm UTC

His nickname for school could be "The Bird" would be signed by just pointing the middle finger instead, I guess.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

And again, we see that "zero tolerance" laws lead to stupidity...

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Роберт » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

:mrgreen:
Tyndmyr wrote:And again, we see that "zero tolerance" laws lead to stupidity...

Zero tolerance is all about not even thinking at all. Very similar to stupidity, I guess.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Adam H » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:24 pm UTC

Would a good analogy be if someone named their kid Gonnakillyou?

What is the line between acceptable and unacceptable names? What if a kid's name is "Fukyu"? What about "Fuck You"? "Rape"? "Cuntmuncher"?
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:Would a good analogy be if someone named their kid Gonnakillyou?

What is the line between acceptable and unacceptable names? What if a kid's name is "Fukyu"? What about "Fuck You"? "Rape"? "Cuntmuncher"?


Or you're from the middle east, and your name sounds remarkably like shithead...but it's a perfectly normal name for your culture. It happens.

Hunter, however, is a pretty common, uncontroversial name even in the west. It is unlikely in the extreme that making a pistol shape or whatever is ever going to be perceived as an actual threat to anyone, and frankly, the kid is three. That's just a teensy bit of overreaction there.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tirian » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:39 pm UTC

It is also an overreaction to confuse the use of a nickname for the desecration of personal identity.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:21 pm UTC

I agree, Teary-Eyes. Good thing we're just making fun of stupid people over here.

Really the comparable analogy is naming your kid Hunter. Or Colt. Sure, a teacher probably shouldn't go around saying "I have a Colt in my classroom" but it's pretty dumb to make the kid change his name to accommodate your stupid rule.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Adam H » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:17 pm UTC

Yeah after some googling I see that the sign for "hunt" is a shooting gesture. So Heisenberg is completely right. Sign names can be basically whatever you want them to be, which is why I didn't assume the kid's name actually meant hunter.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby philsov » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

accidentally shoot and kill someone with their finger


They're not pulling out a gun and firing it. It's a FINGER.

It is not a projectile. It cannot kill anyone, much less 'accidentally'.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Derek » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:27 pm UTC

philsov wrote:They're not pulling out a gun and firing it. It's a FINGER.

It is not a projectile. It cannot kill anyone, much less 'accidentally'.

Are you sure about that?

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

The original source says

Hunter's name gesture is modified with crossed-fingers to show it is uniquely his own.


So there's no reason to think anyone would interpret Hunter's name as indicating either hunting or shooting someone. Imagine a child named Getdown...Getdown Theresashooper. If you overheard them introducing themself, are you going to hit the deck because you thought someone was warning you about a gunman?

But why am I trying to look at the decision logically. There's no logic in these kinds of zero-tolerance policies. It reminds me of the time in Middle School where I referenced the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch and had an informal chat with the principle who had happened to overhear me. Paranoia is just, just so dumb.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

Derek wrote:
philsov wrote:They're not pulling out a gun and firing it. It's a FINGER.

It is not a projectile. It cannot kill anyone, much less 'accidentally'.

Are you sure about that?

This authoritative source confirms...
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby engr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:08 am UTC

I was wondering if his new name will be Dick...

Yes, it's in a very bad taste, I now.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Eomund » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:08 am UTC

This is just awful. I would boycott the school.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Radical_Initiator » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:20 am UTC

New name: Birdflip Upyours.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:53 am UTC

He'd better not put his hands in his pockets then, without a concealed carry permit.

This kid wouldn't happen to be the son of C. Norris?
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:52 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
accidentally shoot and kill someone with their finger


They're not pulling out a gun and firing it. It's a FINGER.

It is not a projectile. It cannot kill anyone, much less 'accidentally'.


"Careful, his finger might be loaded!"

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby sardia » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:15 pm UTC

God damn, where's the NRA when you need them. No doubt giving kids real guns would shut those administrators up about his name.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Sockmonkey » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:07 pm UTC

I'm making the hunter sign at the idiot school officials but nothing's happening!

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Triangle_Man » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:53 am UTC

Remember, there is always a chance of your pointer finger misfiring, so always keep it pointed at the ground when not in use and never point it at anything you don't intend to destroy.
Last edited by Triangle_Man on Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:13 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Joeldi » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:06 am UTC

When all's said and done, Hunter is still such a cringe worthy name for me. So so American and Boguny
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Radical_Initiator » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:10 am UTC

Headline: Newly-introduced Bill Requires Registration of Hands Built Before 1983, Tightens Restrictions on Semi-Automatic Knuckles.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:24 am UTC

Joeldi wrote:When all's said and done, Hunter is still such a cringe worthy name for me. So so American and Boguny

It's no more odd than "potter", "carter", "Taylor", "Cooper ","Baker", "Fisher", "Butler" or "Cook"
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby cpt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:29 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
Joeldi wrote:When all's said and done, Hunter is still such a cringe worthy name for me. So so American and Boguny

It's no more odd than "potter", "carter", "Taylor", "Cooper ","Baker", "Fisher", "Butler" or "Cook"


It wouldn't be odd as a surname, no, but what about as a first name?

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Jesse » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:47 pm UTC

What's wrong with Taylor Swift?

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby cpt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:What's wrong with Taylor Swift?


Nothing, in my opinion, but someone might find that her sister Potter Swift (or brother Hunter) has a cringe-worthy name.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

cpt wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:
Joeldi wrote:When all's said and done, Hunter is still such a cringe worthy name for me. So so American and Boguny

It's no more odd than "potter", "carter", "Taylor", "Cooper ","Baker", "Fisher", "Butler" or "Cook"


It wouldn't be odd as a surname, no, but what about as a first name?


Hunter, Cooper, Taylor, etc all strike me as perfectly reasonable first names. I've never met someone with "Cook" as a first name, but yeah, there's definitely been a few descriptive names that made the jump to first names. Roman, for instance. It's not wildly common, but it's not weird, either.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Red Hal » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:28 pm UTC

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby willaaaaaa » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:52 pm UTC

Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon,"


This is the subjective part that should be in dispute... I could claim a crayon looks like a dagger, or a dodgeball looks like a bomb.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Роберт » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

willaaaaaa wrote:
Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon,"


This is the subjective part that should be in dispute... I could claim a crayon looks like a dagger, or a dodgeball looks like a bomb.

Is a hand gesture even an instrument?
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby induction » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

This is just a guess, but maybe they don't allow the kids to 'play guns' and are trying to keep the rules consistent for everyone.

I still think it's dumb, though.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:25 pm UTC

willaaaaaa wrote:
Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument...that looks like a weapon,"


This is the subjective part that should be in dispute... I could claim a crayon looks like a dagger, or a dodgeball looks like a bomb.


Oh, be reasonable. Schools already think a dodgeball IS a weapon. Soon they'll be banning tomatoes for looking too much like a dodgeball. Then ketchup and pizza, since they count as tomatoes.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby natraj » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

induction wrote:This is just a guess, but maybe they don't allow the kids to 'play guns' and are trying to keep the rules consistent for everyone.

I still think it's dumb, though.


"keeping the rules consistent for everyone" is a farcical excuse that ablebodied people often claim to the exclusion of people with disabilities, though, in exactly these sorts of situations. i agree that it is entirely possible they are making such a claim. but keeping rules consistent across the board when people have different needs and different ways of navigating and interfacing with the world is just a way of keeping people with disabilities excluded from participating on equal terms.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby induction » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

'Farcical' is a very good word to describe it. I am interested in what could possibly be going through their heads with this decision, and this is the best I could come up with.

It reminds me of a story I saw on the news in the early eighties: A weightlifter with no legs won the bench press event at a competition, but was disqualified after it was pointed out (by another competitor) that he wasn't wearing athletic shoes, which were required by the official rulebook.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Sockmonkey » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

natraj wrote:
induction wrote:This is just a guess, but maybe they don't allow the kids to 'play guns' and are trying to keep the rules consistent for everyone.

I still think it's dumb, though.


"keeping the rules consistent for everyone" is a farcical excuse that ablebodied people often claim to the exclusion of people with disabilities, though, in exactly these sorts of situations. i agree that it is entirely possible they are making such a claim. but keeping rules consistent across the board when people have different needs and different ways of navigating and interfacing with the world is just a way of keeping people with disabilities excluded from participating on equal terms.

Actually it's usually so the people in charge can avoid accountability. When you make a judgement call, good or bad you can be held resposible for it and possibly sued.

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby natraj » Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:37 pm UTC

i made no mention of its intent, only its effect on my life and the life of other (temporarily) abled folks.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby omgryebread » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:21 pm UTC

From what I understand, they aren't telling him to change his name, just his name sign.

Which is irrelevant, because he's deaf so his name sign is effectively his name.
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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Tirian » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:39 am UTC

Seriously, have you guys never been in a class with three Sarahs in it? Because being asked to adopt a nickname is getting played up like a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I'm not a big fan of the reason, but FFS unclench already!

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Re: School Forces Deaf 3-Year-Old To Change His Name

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:43 am UTC

The reason is incredibly relevant. How can you think otherwise?
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