A deaf preschooler in Grand Island, Nebraska, has been prohibited from signing his own name because school administrators believe the gesture he uses looks too much like a gun.
Hunter uses Signing Exact English or SEE — a form of manual communication that uses modified ASL handshapes in an effort to better mimic the spoken English language. He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” [said] Hunter Spanjer’s father.
The preschool, which has a strict zero-tolerance policy toward “any instrument…that looks like a weapon,” would not discuss the matter, but said they were working with the parents on a compromise. Gawker.com
It’s enough to make you think there are school administrators whose entire job consists of thinking up stupid stunts to distract everybody else from the business of educating children. Who else but a dedicated pro could cook up anything this insanely vapid?
And yet, it’s not surprising. This is the sort of nonsense Americans have come to expect after what seems like decades populated by hysterical loudmouths convinced beyond all reason that — fill in the blank — is racist/ageist/bigoted/dangerous/cancerous/fattening/communistic/offensive/hate mongering/class warfare/sexist/homophobic/politically fucking incorrect and responsible for all the evil in the world or at least this neighborhood and if we only pass about a thousand idiotic over-reaching laws we’ll all be happier, healthier, and above normal.
You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backwards. — James Thurber
It has become a predictable if pathetic pattern. Some numbnuts somewhere cooks up a simplistic solution to an imaginary problem. The solution implements a new policy, created by cretins, which inevitably has unforeseen consequences are (a) unacceptable, (2) devoid of any remnant of common sense, and (iii) an invitation to universal ridicule. Happy to oblige.
So here we have alleged educators solemnly enforcing a policy that in effect equates a 3 year old deaf kid’s sign for his own name with a threatening weapon -related gesture. And you wonder why Asians are eating our lunch, kicking our ass, and dominating our graduate schools.
I imagine they’ll get past this, if for no other reason than (iii) above, but that doesn’t erase the unease that arises when one realizes how often these incidents occur. When did we lose our focus on mission and meaning, and become a nation of small-minded village idiots?
While I don’t have the answer, I suspect in sign language it might be an erect middle digit.