NAD Condemns School’s Ban of Name Sign for Three Year Old Boy

NAD Condemns School’s Ban of Name Sign for Three Year Old Boy

UPDATE: The Grand Island Public School decision to require 3-year old
to change his name sign aired on the Today Show (check your local cable
listings for NBC) on Thursday, August 30th, at 8:20 am Eastern time. If
you live on the West Coast, tune in at 8:20 am for an interview with
the Spanjer family! Follow us on Twitter at @NADTweets to get the
latest news.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) condemns the actions of
Grand Island Public School in Nebraska to require that a 3-year-old
deaf boy change the way he signs his name. The NAD is prepared to
assist the family in responding to Grand Island Public Schools
including through legal action if the school will not honor its own
nondiscrimination policy, and instead misapply a weapons policy that is
not even applicable.

Grand Island Public Schools claims that the boy’s name sign violates a
school policy on weapons. Section 8470 of the Grand Island Public
Schools’ Policies states as follows: “This policy shall cover any
object or item which could be used to injure another person or whose
clear intent is to resemble an item which could cause injury and which
has no school-related reason for being in a school or on school
grounds.” However, on its website, a “Notice of Nondiscrimination”
states that the “Grand Island Public Schools does not discriminate on
the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion,
age or other protected status in its programs and activities.”

The NAD is not aware of any other schools that have banned a name sign;
Grand Island Public Schools is likely the first to ever to do so.

“A name sign is the equivalent of a person’s name. It would be
inappropriate for Grand Island Public Schools to prohibit a person from
another country to use in school their own name which they deemed
offensive,” said NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum.

A three-year-old student’s name sign would not “injure another person”
and is definitely not intended “to resemble an item which could cause
injury.” The NAD calls on Grand Island Public Schools to retract its
request and issue a statement that respects and supports Hunter
Spanjer’s cultural and linguistic identity.



Original article related:

School asks deaf preschooler to change his sign language name

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