Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hello, My Name is Not a Deadly Weapon

Note: This article does not pertain specifically to teenagers, but focuses on the rights of a child. And that's what I'm for, not just teenagers, but all young people. So please temporarily ignore the name of my blog.
This is the letter 'H' in American Sign Language.

H is the first letter of the word 'hunter'. A hunter is somebody who goes out into the wild and shoots deer.

It's also a given name. This is Hunter Spanjer, age three. He's deaf.

Naturally, most deaf people don't want to spell out their entire names. So they come up with a sign that represents them, usually some variation on the first and last letters. This is the letter R:

Hunter crosses his forefinger and middle finger and waves them around. That's the name he's used ever since he was six months old.
Which looks kind of like a gun. Fitting. This way, I think, will help people remember he's not Harlan or Howard or some other name. If he didn't cross his fingers, it would look even more like a gun.
The preschool's zero tolerance policy doesn't care. It remotely resembles a gun, so it's a violation. The school told him to change his name. His family is taking legal action to prevent that.
You know people are idiots when they can't even see the reasons behind their own policies. You cannot shoot anybody with a finger. Poke them, yes, whether your name's Hunter or Holly or Egbert.
What's really sad is people are having to justify it. "Oh, he's only three and a half. He doesn't know it looks threatening." "But that sign is registered with Signing Exact English." "But schools are supposed to protect freedom of speech."
How about this: Hunter's name is a name. I've met other Hunters, I've seen Talon and Battle used as first names. Mankiller, Archer, Knight, Kilpack, Butcher, Loveless, Diebold, and Bloodworth are all surnames. None of them have ever been banned to my knowledge. So why start now?

No comments:

Post a Comment