The kid’s only three, too young to be absorbing the lessons that could be learned from his school’s actions and reactions lately. He went to preschool, like most kids, not entirely sure what to expect. No matter how he’d been prepared, though, he wouldn’t have been ready for what he ran into from the Grand Island, Nebraska, Public Schools: a pretty good equivalent to Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate.

What’s to hate about a three-year-old kid? Now, if you ask that question, you’re probably not fit to be a Grand Island administrator. See, it’s the kid’s name, combined with his handicap. His name is Hunter Spanjer. Because he’s deaf, he signs, and the sign language his family uses. Signing Exact English, expresses “Hunter” with a modified finger-gun gesture (with the index and second fingers crossed). This ran afoul of the biens-pensants on the Grand Island School board, and their Policy No. 8470 (pdf file), which says:

Students are forbidden to knowingly and voluntarily possess, handle, transmit or use any instrument in school, on school grounds or at school functions that is a firearm, weapon, or looks like a weapon as defined by the State of Nebraska Criminal Statutes, the federal laws found in Section 18 USCS Section 921 and in the administrative procedures for this policy 8470.

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. Such items will be considered “weapons” for the purposed of this policy. Students who are in possession of the aforementioned articles will be subject to mandatory suspension or expulsion procedures.

This retarded policy is founded in the general, inchoate loathing that people of a certain cast of politics, intellect, and emotion have towards guns and the gun culture. Of course, those political, intellectual and emotional traits are vastly overrepresented in the work-light and accountability-free zone of public incarceration  Dewey concentration camp schooling. The idiocy of applying Policy No. 8470 to a kid’s name never seems to have struck them. (Well, the general idiocy of Policy No. 8470 never struck them, either).

Someone at the school — they’re perhaps understandably not saying who — told the kid he’sgoing to have to change his name, or at least his sign. This created such a fur-ball that the entire school system hierarchy, superintendent, and school board have gone into hiding from the media, sending some chump named Jack Sheard whom the website identifies as a marketing spokesman to do what marketing people do — lie for them.

A man of great intellect and integrity would have found that a hard mission, and Grand Island doesn’t have one, just Jack Sheard. “We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” he repeated to media, like an old talking doll that had only one saying when you pulled the string.

After a local media aired the story, a petition demanding an end to Grand Island Public School’s Stalinist attempt to rename the kid to suit their politics got rolling. A local report:

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.

Petition letter on addressed to GIPS asking officials to let Hunter Spanjer keep his sign name.

“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?

via Grand Island Preschooler Asked to Change the Sign for His Name in School.

Since then, Jack Sheard has plumbed new depths of dishonesty. He posted an online  denial, and fed the same atatement to the press, that was extremely cagily worded:

Grand Island Public Schools is not requiring any current student with a hearing impairment to change his or her sign language name.

How many weasel words has Jack (or the System attorneys, who probably drafted the statement) jammed into one sentence? They aren’t askingHunter to change his name, just his sign. By changing his sign language. Sheard insists that if the kid just used American Sign Language, which the State of Nebraska requires, his hand-sign for himself wouldn’t be the gunnish thing that has Sheard and his mates in the district bureaucracy filling their diapers.

But even that’s a lie. The local media learned:

The Nebraska Department of Education told Nebraska Central News, there are no state regulations for students using sign language.

Meanwhile, apart from Sheard, who recites the party line and diverges not, the district administrators might as well grace milk cartons for all the leadership they’ve shown in this shameful matter. (Note: we linked to the page so you can guess how far of 1000 IQ points that page is. We do not recommend you contact the administrators. Unless you live in and pay taxes in Grand Island, you’d be wasting your time, and even then — well, look at them. You’d still be wasting your time).

Two last comments:

  1. Maybe this is part of why Americans look down on public schools, according to a Gallup survey analyzed in the Washington Times. (Hat tip Glenn Reynolds).
  2. If all of the school district’s mistreatment of Hunter Spanjer wasn’t enough, they sign off their communiques with a Stalinist slogan: “Our mission remains: Every Student, Every Day, a Success!” One gets the impression that they don’t want Hunter Spanjer, but they fantasize about having Pavlik Morozov in their classrooms, and overfulfilling their Five-Year Plan.

This entry was posted in Don’t be THAT guy, Lord Love a Duck on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).